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Blue Bell Hill: Dogs fall off cliff sparking emergency response

By Ed McConnell

A dog owner has described her relief after firefighters saved her two Lurchers when they fell off a cliff.

Crews were called to Blue Bell Hill at 10.40am after the animals' owner reported they had fallen.

A drone was initially going to be sent up to find the pets, but they were traced to a ledge three metres down.

A firefighter with one of the rescued dogs
A firefighter with one of the rescued dogs

Clare Landi was taking Lurchers, Basil and Flynn, for a walk when it happened.

She said her much-loved pets, who were both originally rescue dogs, were being walked in a favourite area when Basil, the smaller one, took off and disappeared from view down a path they hadn't visited before.

Clare said: "I'm not sure whether he was chasing a rabbit but suddenly, he disappeared and went through a hole under the fence where the cliff edges are.

"I could hear him and so could Flynn, who then shot under the gap to reach Basil."

Fire crews at the scene
Fire crews at the scene

Clare started to get concerned and phoned Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), as she was unable to reach the dogs they didn't come back when she called out for them.

Station Manager Steve Burwell was initially sent to assess the situation and called for assistance from KFRS’ Technical Rescue Team and Faversham-based Animal Rescue Unit.

The teams were quickly able to locate the stricken dogs, who were stuck on a ledge.

Steve said: "Wearing a harness and safe access gear, a firefighter was lowered down to the ledge where he was able to put the dogs into a harness and bring them successfully back to safety and reunite them with their delighted owner.

The dogs fell from Blue Bell Hill.
The dogs fell from Blue Bell Hill.

"Our teams are specially trained and equipped to deal with this sort of rescue and we're pleased we were able to help, rather than Clare putting herself in danger trying to rescue her dogs."

Clare added: "I can't thank the firefighters enough, they were absolutely brilliant and I'm so grateful that KFRS managed to help.

"The dogs had a precautionary check at the vets after their ordeal, Basil is limping on his back leg and needed an anti-inflammatory injection but hopefully there's no serious damage."

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