Pooch has lucky escape in canal near-drowning

Oxford Mail: Animal sanctuary warden Rachel Tatam with Fletcher Animal sanctuary warden Rachel Tatam with Fletcher

WHEN 13-year-old Fletcher disappeared, his owners spent hours searching fields near Kidlington.

But the border collie was fighting for his life after falling into the Oxford Canal and getting stuck among brambles.

Firefighters were called to rescue the dog near the Highwayman Hotel at 7.45pm on Thursday. They pulled him to safety before calling the Oxford Animal Sanctuary. Warden Rachel Tatam and assistant warden Aaron Denton picked the dog up, while firefighters helped him warm up at the hotel off Banbury Road.

A Facebook appeal by the charity yesterday then helped Fletcher get reunited with his owners the Hudson family, of Lyne Road.

Mrs Tatam last night said the dog had been cold and disorientated after the ordeal. But she said the firefighters had saved Fletcher’s life.

Owner Phil Hudson, 25, said Fletcher had been on his dad Ian’s allotment before he disappeared. He said: “We were really worried about him. He is 13 and he has never run away from us before.

“One minute he was there and the next he was gone. We were searching until 10.30pm across the fields.”

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