On 16th August when Boscastle was ripped apart by terrible floods, many helicopters were circling the small village checking cars and houses and plucking people out of the water.
There was one Air Rescue helicopter in particular who spotted a red flashing light from one of the badly damaged cottages. Believing the light was a signal from one of their search and rescue dogs in trouble the crew flew to the rescue only to find two exhausted cocker spaniels, trapped in a cottage clambering to keep afloat in 4ft of water.
The dog’s owner, Emily Baum, 29 years, from Woking in Surrey, was on holiday in Boscastle staying in her mother’s holiday cottage. When the 10ft wall of water hit the village and her life was in danger she was taken to a place of safety but her dogs, left at home, were trapped in the kitchen of the cottage. ‘The whole episode was a nightmare – I believed Sprite and Mac were drowned, it just seemed I was in the middle of some horror movie and could not get back to rescue the dogs.
Terrified, the spaniels were airlifted to dry land and become separated from their owner and were handed over to WPC Campbell from the Devon Constabulary. At this stage the rescue services were flat out accounting for human lives, but dog lover, WPC Campbell spotted Sprite’s Missing Pets Bureau Pet ID Disk attached to his collar and made a quick call to the Missing Pets Bureau’s emergency hotline number featured on the tag.
Says Rupert Honywood, founder of Missing Pets Bureau, the UK’s leading pet rescue organisation, ‘We were desperate to get these dogs reunited with their owner as soon as possible. All our ID tags have a unique identity number so we were able to track down Emily details very quickly, however there was no answer from her mobile (it was also under 4 foot of water) or land-line. We then contacted her emergency contact number and thankfully her mother answered the phone.’
Mrs Baum, who lives in Woking, had just received a call from Emily saying she was safe and well in Boscastle’s village hall. The Missing Pets Bureau immediately alerted WPC Campbell who reunited the traumatised dogs with their owner.
‘I can’t thank air rescue, the police and the staff at Missing Pets Bureau enough’ said Emily,‘ my spaniels are my world to me and what began as a wonderful holiday could have ended up as a complete tragedy. My car was swept out to sea but that means nothing so long as my dogs are alive and well! I took out Lifetime Petback Protect membership to Missing Pets Bureau thinking I would never need it and in the membership pack – I had received two Pet ID tags – and without these and my safety blinkers I would have never seen my dogs again, quite literally these saved Mac and Sprite’s life. I now have my once exhausted but now two boisterous spaniels back home!"