Ten firefighters had an unusual rescue today after a dog got himself in a prickly predicament.

Two fire engine crews were called to delicately extract Major, a three-year-old wire hair dachshund, after he became trapped under a neighbour's shed - with a family of hedgehogs.

His owner Mary Meagher, 75, said: "I was out in the garden planting some runner beans. He was with me one minute, but when I turned around he was gone.

"I then started hearing a pining noise coming from under my neighbour's shed.

"There is a family of hedgehogs living under there and he is always barking and chasing them whenever they come into the garden.

"Dachshunds are usually used for hunting, so I guess this time he decided to follow one under the shed - and then got stuck.

"There is a hole in the fence at the top of the garden and he must have gone through that."

Ms Meagher, of Hugh Allen Crescent in Marston, Oxford, immediately went round to her neighbour's house and asked them to help her.

But, despite their efforts, they were unable to get Major out.

So she called 999.

She said: "I told the operator: 'Don't worry no one's life is in danger - It's my dog, he's trapped under a shed.' "They were great and said they would get someone there as soon as possible. The fire engines were here within 10 minutes."

Ms Meagher said the firefighters had to empty the shed before they were able to lift it.

When they raised it, they found Major with two adult hedgehogs and three baby hoglets.

Ms Meagher said: "He was a little bit shaken up when he first came out, but that will teach him to go chasing hedgehogs."

Slade Fire Station crew manager Shaun Betts said: "I have dealt with all sorts of animal incidents in the past, but never one quite like this.

"We had to reach in and remove the hedgehogs before we could get the dog out.

"Then we carefully put all of them back into their original positions, together with their leaves.

"The dog came out wagging its tail and was reunited with its delighted owner."

Ms Meagher said Major was now "under lockdown" until repair work is carried out to her fence.

She added: "I'm a flight instructor at Shenington Gliding Club and I have invited all the firefighters that came out to help Major to come up with me in September.

"My neighbour has also offered to do a barbecue for them. The firefighters were absolutely fantastic and did a great job - so this is our way of saying thanks."