Two Wexford men have been praised for their dogged determination and will, spending a phenomenal four days rescuing nine puppies trapped underground in a badger sett.
The puppy rescuers have been named as Philip O’Brien and Billy Murphy, who came across the den in the top wood of a farm in New Ross, Co Wexford, after spotting the nonuplets' mother, a two-year-old greyhound Collie cross lurcher, loitering around the area.
With dog food in one hand and a shovel in the other, the canine loving duo tried their best to bring the puppies to safety, fearing that they were too young to be left alone.
We didn’t know what to do. We tried to coax them out on Friday but they wouldn’t come out and went further underground. On Saturday we dug out the badger set but they escaped through different tunnels. You could only barely hear them barking underground. We managed to get seven of them out but there were two left who wouldn’t come near us.
Philip and I looked after some of the pups at home with me and the Wexford Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (WSPCA) took the rest. When the pups emerged from the sett their eyes were barely open. They had to be kept in darkness as they would become agitated in bright light.
Determined to succeed, Billy and Philip kept digging and came up with the bright idea to use a hidden cat cage with cat food on the inside to lure the puppies out.
The trap worked just as well as it could have and they caught the eighth puppy on Monday night last at 10pm, having taken turns in a vigil watch all weekend.
Since the rescue, the mother and her black and white two-month-old puppies are doing remarkably well and are in the best of health.
Great work, lads.