Fire crew saves 4 year old rescue dog from Rhiwbina brook


A dog has been rescued by a fire crew after falling into a Rhiwbina stream.

4-year-old Emily fell more than 10 feet into the brook and was picked up downstream in Whitchurch nearly two hours later.

Owners Elizabeth and David Heathcote, who had only taken ownership of rescue dog Emily a few days ago, were left helpless as she was taken away by the water.

“We’d just come back from a spot of shopping,” says David. “Liz had run ahead into the house with some bags but I was still outside on Pen-y-Dre. A gust of wind had blown the front door open and before we knew it, Emily had come shooting out of the house and down our front garden towards me. She wasn’t looking where she was going and went straight into the brook, which is at the very front of our garden.”

There was a splash and before they knew it, Emily was down in the brook. The couple instantly set about trying to figure out a way of plucking Emily out of the water.

“I found the easiest way down into the brook and climbed down onto a water outlet to see if I could get hold of her,” says Liz. “But because she’s still a little bit nervous of us, she kept running away from me. She was waddling in and out of the running water and then tried swimming upstream back to us, but eventually, she disappeared out of sight under the railway culvert.”

Several neighbours came out to help and messages were scrambled onto social media in case anyone in the area could help. People scoured the area in their cars looking for her.

“We wanted to follow the stream through Caedelyn Park to see if we could see her but we had to go the long way around as the railway bridge was closed for repairs,” continues Liz. “We decided to call the Fire Brigade. They came very quickly but by that point, Emily had disappeared altogether. The fire crew split into two teams and the longer it went on, the more we worried.”

Rhiwbina brook
The brook that Emily fell into is now part of the Rhiwbina Flood Defence Scheme

It was nearly two hours later when they had a phone call to say that Emily was safe and sound.

“The fireman brought her home, wrapped up in his coat. He brought her in and placed her on the cushion next to the radiator to warm up and dry out,” says David. “She was shaking like a leaf but other than that, she seemed ok.”

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to the fireman and firewoman who helped us,” says Liz. “They were absolutely amazing. We often hear stories of them rescuing cats from trees and other similar stories and we always wondered where these stories come from and now we know.”

Emily is now recovering at home with treats and cuddles.