Carl Birtwistle and Paula Gerrard took their Cocker spaniels Eric and Henry for a walk in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, but their leisure walk turned into a frantic dog rescue when one of their dogs wedged himself in between two large boulders and got stuck.
Eric, a nine-year-old black Cocker spaniel somehow pushed his head and neck in between two large rocks getting lodged in the gap. His humans frantically tried to free him but weren’t able to pull him out right away.
Gerrard called authorities and asked for help, but she was told the RSPCA needed to come out first and assess the situation. Immediately, the worried pet owner called the animal organization, and spent 20 minutes trying to get a representative on the phone.
“Eric was struggling and hurting himself,” Gerrard told Express News. “I rang the fire brigade but they said I had to call the RSPCA first. It took 20 minutes to get through and I’m upset they didn’t do anything sooner”
For 20 minutes, the dog whined, cried, and tried to free himself, but it was impossible.
When the pet owners finally spoke with an RSPCA representative, they learned the nearest RSPCA office was 90 minutes away and they would have to wait until someone from the organization arrived at the scene to evaluate the emergency.
Frustrated, the dog owners took matters into their hands and used car jacks to separate the rocks and free the Eric from his confinement.
When the RSPCA called back to inform them a representative had been dispatched, Eric was already free. By that time, Gerrard and Birtwistle were infuriated with the delayed response and the organizations’ inability to help right away.
“I am disgusted at the way our calls were handled,” said Birtwistle. “It was a 24-hour emergency number. I feel the RSPCA caused my dog unnecessary suffering.”
A spokesman for the animal organization said they get “a million calls a year [and] at busy times there can be a queue.” The inspector was delayed due to another emergency and that is why the organization couldn’t respond to Gerrard and Birtwistle’s urgent call right away.
Eric has since recover from the incident. The dog was in distress and fortunately did not suffer any injuries.