Olive the dog rescued from the bottom of a Sheffield mineshaft
22nd April 2022

I’ve had a ruff time! Cuddle at last for miracle dog who was stuck down a mineshaft for FOUR DAYS

  • Volunteers from the Homebound Animal Rescue used drones to find Olive 
  • The Labrador had been trapped down the Sheffield mineshaft for four days 
  • Family friend Phil Robinson heard a whimper and was able to find the dog 

Olive the labrador’s tail had a happy ending yesterday as she was back in her owner’s arms – after being trapped down an old 12ft deep mineshaft for four days.

Jo Belton and daughter Charlotte put up missing posters after the two-year-old pet vanished during a walk in countryside on the outskirts of Sheffield. 

Volunteers from Homebound Animal Rescue Response Team Search and Rescue had used drones and thermal imaging cameras in vain but as hope faded, family friend Phil Robinson heard a whimper and found the red fox lab bedraggled but unhurt. 

After firefighters pulled Olive out and vets gave her the all-clear, student Charlotte said: ‘It’s a miracle.’

This is the moment the Belton family from Sheffield were reunited with their Labrador dog, Olive, who was trapped in a mineshaft for four days

The dog fell down this mine shaft and was unable to make her way back to the surface

A specialist rescue team where able to recover the dog safely from the bottom of the shaft

Mr Robinson had heard a whimper as he walked through a field and found the opening, which had been obscured by long grass.

She had fallen down the hole in the ground and survived by licking water running down the walls of the shaft.

Mrs Belton, 52, and the team from HART SAR – Homebound Animal Rescue Response Team Search and Rescue – raced to the scene and called the South Yorkshire Fire Service to finish the job.

A firefighter duly went down with a rope and ladder, gave her some food and water to calm her down, scooped a bedraggled but relieved Olive up into his arms and brought her to the surface.

She was just as delighted as her owners to be reunited with the mother and daughter, who were on hand to give her a pat and cuddle.

Olive was taken straight to see the vet for a check-up but was given the all clear.

Charlotte Belton, a student, described the happy reunion as a ‘miracle’.

She said: ‘Thank you so much to every single person who has been searching for her, we can’t believe we have our angel back.

‘She was completely fine other than the fact she’s lost a lot of weight. She has no injuries or broken bones or anything and she still seemed herself.’

Olive and several of her Labrador ‘brothers and sisters’ was out on her daily walk in a wooded area when she suddenly went missing.

Simon Marples, of HART SAR, said the newly-formed search group searched for four days without success until family friend Phil Robinson heard Olive whimpering and realised she had fallen into the hole.

‘When something like this happens you would think they would be barking but sometimes the dog goes quiet,’ he said. ‘Thankfully she was found and is okay.’

He described the mine shaft opening as ‘very dangerous’ and said it had been fenced off to prevent further accidents and there were plans to fill it in.

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