UPDATE: Spencer recovers at home following his ordeal 

A SPANIEL trapped underground for three days has been rescued.

Spencer was pulled alive after getting stuck in a pipe in Tilsley Park, Abingdon on Saturday night.

This is the moment he emerged from the hole after a desperate three day search and rescue mission.

Oxford Mail:

Diggers rolled into Tilsley Park in Abingdon as efforts to save the stricken dog become more intense.

But after a team dug up the tarmac by the sports pitch, the dog was safely reunited with owners James and Kat Athey.

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Athey said: "It's been an emotional rollercoaster, we're so glad to have him back safe.

"We now want to get him to the vets and back home. 

"We're so glad he's ok, thank you to everyone." 

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Mail:

 The community has since rallied to get him out of the pipe, which measures just 30cm in diameter.

Thames Water and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been helping with the rescue mission, and special cameras located him alive beneath the AstroTurf pitch in Dunmore Road.

Spencer's owner James Athey, 32, said his three boys Jacob, eight,  Alex, six, and Theo, one, were missing Spencer.

Oxford Mail:

He added: "It's amazing how many people have joined in to help and Abingdon School has done everything it possibly can."

Workers were given permission by the site's owner, Abingdon School, to dig up the pitch. 

Inspector Jamie Godfrey of the RSPCA is on the scene.

Oxford Mail:

He said: "I'm here to make sure the dog is okay when he comes out. There's water in the pipe so hopefully he won't be too dehydrated."

Oxford Mail:

Spencer's owner posted about her dog's plight on Facebook, and the message has been shared hundreds of times. 

This morning machinery arrived on site and was awaiting permission to dig the dog out of the pitch. 

An Abingdon resident, who is at Tilsley Park this morning, told the Oxford Mail earlier: "Thames Water has got a camera [in the pipe] and the dog is moving, but he's trapped.

Oxford Mail:

The dog stuck in the pipe, viewed on a special camera

"The drainage pipe runs under the pitch and comes out into a little stream. I think he was chasing something and went so far up he couldn't get back down.

"The fire brigade have done a fantastic job and have been down every day since Sunday, and Thames Water has got the equipment.

"I'm a dog owner myself and I would be devastated."

Oxford Mail:

Spencer crawled into this hole and got stuck 

Doglost Oxfordshire has been supporting the owner and helping to share updates on social media. 

Stuart White, a spokesman for Thames Water, confirmed the company's sewer team was called out this morning to help.

He said: "They responded straight away."

He said the sewer is owned privately rather than by Thames Water, adding: "This made it harder for us to work out where it runs and exactly where the dog was.."

Oxfordshire County Council spokeswoman Catarina Walsh said firefighters have been involved since the weekend, but left this morning after finding there was nothing more they could do.

She said the old drainage pipe was '30cm in diameter, very long and without access from one of its sides'.

She added: "It’s in a football pitch, where excavation wasn’t permitted at that point and where their equipment wasn’t suitable for the rescue operation, so the fire service had to leave the incident."