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Top rescue dog Dru dies

LEGENDARY MOUNTAIN rescue dog and renowned television star, Border Collie ‘Dru’ has died, aged 13.

Dru, the super search dog who belonged to Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team dog handler Steve Ward from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, went on over 300 searches including life-saving rescues.

His daring rescues brought the courageous Collie brief spells of fame. As well as appearances on Look North and Pet Rescue, Dru stood alongside Esther Rantzen and even snubbed Gaby Roslin's offer of a chewy bone!

In 1999, the brave dog helped locate a father and son Timothy Brett and his ten-year-old son, Tom. The pair had been caught overnight in a blizzard above the treacherous Snake Pass. For his courage, Dru and owner Steve were reunited with Timothy and Tom on BBC1's Millennium celebrations.

Steve, who represents the Search and Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA), said: ‘They could have definitely died. They had hypothermia and they couldn't walk.

‘More than once, Dru laid his life on the line to save human life. He was as brave as anything. He was a hero. He was a great ambassador for Sarda and a lovely dog. Dru once picked up a scent from one kilometre away.’

Dru's successor is the equally audacious and astute Bryn - a five-year-old border collie who has been on over 70 searches.

Father-of-two Steve, 51, added: ‘The test for rescue dogs is hard and Bryn is an excellent successor. I'm getting older and I can't keep up with him!’