Dog hit by car swims river and is found by drone in incredible Doncaster rescue
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Stella, a one year old bulldog, has now been reunited with her owners after her amazing ordeal and rescue by a team of volunteer pet hunters in Doncaster.
Despite suffering a broken leg after being hit by a car in Sprotbrough, the young dog bolted, leapt into the River Don and then swam across to the other bank, clambering out onto the Hexthorpe side.
Dog hunters then followed a trail of blood and eventually Stella was found cowering in a patch of brambles near Hexthorpe, more than a mile from where she went missing after a drone was deployed to spot her from the skies.
Now she’s recovering at her home in Stainforth and is slowly working her back to full health.
Darcey Edwards, of Lost and Found Pets Doncaster Team Houdini, explained how the tale had had an happy ending after the frightened dog had spent two days sheltering in the wild.
She said: “It is absolutely brilliant we managed to find her after what had happened to her.
"She went through a real ordeal so it’s always nice when we get a good outcome.”
Stella’s drama began at around 7pm on July 27 as she was being walked through Sprotbrough.
Off her lead at the time, the pup was hit by a vehicle and then panicked, running down Newton Lane in the village towards the waters of the River Don.
She was spotted leaping into the river and then scrambling out of the other side by a couple who were unable to catch her.
The rescue team sent up a thermal drone later that night, but a three hour hunt on wasteland near the river proved fruitless.
The following day, Darcey followed a trail of blood across the land towards Hexthorpe – but again, the trail ran cold.
However, while checking through footage, one of the team’s drone operators spotted Stella from the skies and the following day the team headed out again.
She said: “We went out with the owner who was on the ground while the drone was above. At one stage, the owner was just a few feet away from the dog and the drone could see her but she couldn't be seen from the ground because she was cowering in the brambles.
"We managed to get her out, but she couldn’t walk and was exhausted and dehydrated."
She was taken off to a local vet where it was diagnosed that she had broken her leg in two places – and was told it would cost £4,000 to operate.
But after hearing of her ordeal, the kind-hearted Leeds-based specialist vet agreed to carry out the op for free.
And after a successful procedure, Stella is now recovering at home.
"She is doing really well,” added Darcey, “considering what she went through.
"We are all just a bunch of dog lovers who do all we can to reunite owners with their lost or stolen dogs.
"We help anybody because accidents can happen and dogs can get lost or escape. We were so pleased we managed to get Stella back.”
You can find more details on Team Houdini at their Facebook page HERE.