By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 22 April 2022 • 11:06
46-year-old Victoria Hogan watched as he dog Freda disappeared down a badger hole whilst out on a walk in Lickey Hills Country Park, near Birmingham in England. Devastated when the dog didn’t return she set up camp in the hope that her pet would return.
She tried everything she could think of to encourage her beloved pet out including cooking bacon and wafting the smell into the badger holes using a leaf blower, but nothing.
But incredibly, 12 days later the six-year-old pooch remerged but not where Hogan wa camping. Fortunately she was found by three students by a roadside who rushed to Blacks Vets’ veterinary hospital in Dudley, for urgent treatment for dehydration, malnutrition, pressure sores, and cuts and scrapes.
Victoria and her husband work at Blacks and so she was reunited with her owners, and since her recovery with their other terrier Bert.
Victoria said, “I camped out for eight days in the hope that Freda would somehow miraculously re-emerge.
“The Badgers Trust and RSPCA really supported us, while Hereford and Worcester fire service even used specialist listening devices and cameras to try to locate her, but there was no trace.
“On day eight, I just said to myself, ‘I have to give up and begin to grieve’ and went back home, although I did leave her blanket and bowl behind in the park just in case.
“Then, on day 12, I was told three students had found Freda collapsed at the side of a nearby road and I initially feared the worst. When I was told she was alive it felt like a miracle and I ran out of the house to find her.
“She was very weak and bedraggled but she was alive, so we rushed her to Blacks Vets 24/7 emergency hospital in Dudley where my husband Brian is based.
“They were so supportive and accommodating from the moment it happened… By the time we arrived the nurses and emergency team had already organized a heated bed, had fluids and pain relief ready, and were all geared up to treat her wounds.
“Some of our colleagues even came in to help, even though they were not on duty.
“They were all fabulous and I now fully realize just how important it is for a vets to provide a 24/7 emergency service that can make the difference in cases such as Freda’s.”
Her husband Brian, who is the Clinical Director of Blacks Vets, added: “I’ve been a vet for almost 30 years but Freda’s story is one of the most incredible I’ve ever known.
“She was severely malnourished and dehydrated and had some significant pressure sores as a result of being trapped and wedged underground for so long but, thankfully, nothing that she could not overcome.
“She was hospitalized for two days here at Blacks for treatment and then allowed home to be reunited with her brother Bert and the rest of the family, which was obviously a very happy occasion indeed.”
How fortunate for terrier Freda that not only did her owner refuse to give up on her but that survives 12 days trapped in badger holes only to be returned to her owner’s place of work for treatment.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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