Jack Russell dramatically rescued after being trapped down a fox hole for 19 hours in Greenwich Park

PUBLISHED: 13:53 04 November 2010 | UPDATED: 13:59 04 November 2010

Dog Rescue

Dog Rescue


A Jack Russell had to be rescued by firefighters and a wildlife officer after it became stuck for 19 hours down a fox hole.

Dog Rescue

The dog, named Charlie Brown, became trapped after it crawled into the hole during a walk in Greenwich Park on Friday afternoon.

His owners, Sheila and David Humphries, of Brand Street, Greenwich, tried to entice Charlie out of the hole for hours, but by 2.30am the next day, he was still stuck.

The couple returned to the park a few hours later, at 5am, hoping he would have got himself free and run home, but had to call the emergency services to help with the rescue.

The RSPCA were called, but didn’t arrive in time, according to the couple they only attend incidents if the animal is trapped for more than 48 hours. They then contacted Willow Wildlife Rescue Service, an animal ambulance charity based in Chislehurst and Greenwich wildlife officer PC Vee Goomany who began the rescue attempt.

Charlie Brown

Mrs Humphries said: “They had to dig him out by hand. It was just awful. He was buried alive — it must have been horrific for him.

“I nearly had a heart attack, it was so surreal. I’ve aged 20 years. My husband was calling for him but he wasn’t coming out and he could hear him barking aggressively.”

At the scene, Mr Goomany heard laboured breathing from the hole and said that they would have to get to the dog urgently. He dug with his bare hands, crawling into the hole as far as he could and finally pulled the dog free by 10am.

The nine-year-old dog was covered in dirt, and was dehydrated and in shock, but has since made a full recovery.

Dog rescue

Mrs Humphries said that they were not too worried about Charlie going down the fox hole, as it was nothing unusual for the sprightly Jack Russell, who would normally resurface within a few hours.

“We didn’t know what to do, it was a nightmare. They saved his life and I’m so grateful to them.”

For more information about Willow Wildlife Rescue, who rely on public funding, go to

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