South East Wales

Blaina rescue of dog stuck down mountain hole abandoned

Tilly the West Highland Terrier Image copyright Brian Lloyd
Image caption Tilly the West Highland Terrier fell down a hole while being taken for a walk

Rescuers have abandoned their efforts to save a dog who fell down a hole on a mountain in Blaenau Gwent.

Tilly the West Highland Terrier is stuck on a ledge 23ft (7m) beneath Mynydd James near Blaina.

Despite attempts to coax her from the position she is in, and offering her food, she has not moved and it is not known if Tilly is still alive.

South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team said the decision was made to halt the rescue on Tuesday evening.

Chairman Gary Mitchell said: "With solid rock either side, the risk of trying to widen the hole would result in significant amounts of debris falling down on her.

"This is one of the very few incidents in our 70 years of existence that the outcome is not what we would have hoped for."

Team member Jen Hill, who was lowered into the gap, said: "It was a very difficult decision to ask to be hauled back up.

"As a dog owner myself I wanted to be able to save her but unfortunately this time it was not the case."

Along with the cave rescue team, specialist firefighters from four different stations were involved, using a camera and a reach pole to help the rescue effort.

An RSPCA Cymru spokesman called it an "absolutely awful situation", adding: "We, and other agencies, have spoken with Tilly's owners and share their sadness that we are unable to save her, despite the exhaustive efforts of numerous rescue agencies."

Image copyright South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team
Image copyright Ian Fewings

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