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Dog survives badger sett ordeal - fate of badgers not known

24 February 2010 - BBC News

A Kent family have spoken of their astonishment after their pet Welsh terrier returned home six days after getting stuck in a badger sett. Owner Simeon Taylor, 54, said he had begun to give up hope that four-year-old Vinnie would be found when he turned up on the doorstep on Friday. The dog (which was being walked near a badger sett whilst off the lead) became trapped when he bolted down a badger sett in woods at Southborough Common, Kent.

Firefighters tried in vain to find him using specialist cameras. Firefighters had followed the correct legal procedure in delaying the rescue bid by two days to allow the dog time to find it's own way out, before they risked damaging the badger sett looking for the daft dog. Badger protection laws do not allow any-one to dig into a badger sett to rescue a dog, whether it is a pet or not - no matter how daft the dog or its owners might be.

Following Kent Fire and Rescue Service's failed attempt to reach Vinnie the dog, Taylor's wife Diana, 54, was convinced the family pet was alive and asked a group of local workmen to contact them if they saw him. On Friday the workers called to say a dog had been seen but had run away. Taylor said: "The next thing she knew, there he was clambering up the front steps closely followed by an out-of-breath workman. He looked like he'd been stuck down a hole for six days".

When he returned the Welsh terrier had lost more than 1.8kg (4lb) but Mr Taylor said he was checked over by a vet who gave him a clean bill of health.

Badgerland say: To avoid the risk of your terrier getting into a badger sett in the spring and terrorising badgers and killing their 3-week old cubs, keep the damn dog on a lead in future!

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