Waggy dog story: Mutt rescued from certain death finds loving home with Wigan man thanks to fire crews

By Helen Le Caplain

A lucky dog has been adopted by a Wigan bus driver after reading about her dramatic rescue from a Salford canal sluice.

Lottie, a black and white cross breed, was taken into the care of the RSPCA after being rescued by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) in Irlam.

When 45-year-old bus driver Stephen Owen read about Lottie’s rescue he decided to provide a loving home for her after her ordeal.

Last Sunday Lottie’s new owner took her on ‘walkies’ to Eccles Fire Station to reunite her with the fire crews that saved her life.

“When I saw what had happened to Lottie, I couldn’t believe it,” said bus driver Stephen Owen.

“My heart went out to her – she’d been through such a lot. I read about her on the GMFRS website and thought about her for weeks because I knew I could give her a good home.

“I tracked her down to Leigh Cats and Dogs Home and she is a lovely little dog who just needed a new start in life.

“I really wanted to take her to the fire station to thank the firefighters who saved her life and show them that there was a happy end to the story.

“It was fantastic to see her with the fire crews, wagging her tail and fitting that she got to meet the people that save her life again.”

It’s unclear how Lottie got stuck on the canal gate on December 1 last year but it’s thought she had fallen into the water and been swept down to the gate by the water.

The black and white cross breed, thought to be around three-years-old, was taken into the care of the RSPCA, because her owner could not be found.

Watch Manager Jon Stewart, from Green Watch, said: “It was fantastic to get a call saying Lottie had been adopted and even better when we heard that her new owner wanted to bring her to visit us at the station.

“The rescue was back in December but I remember it well – she’d had made her way into a pretty dangerous part of a canal automatic sluice gate in Irlam.

“We had to work against the clock because the gate works automatically and they can only stop the gate for an hour.

“It was about 30ft down from a foot bridge so we had to lower a ladder down before sending rescue crews down to collect her.

“We used a noose to secure Lottie – she was in quite a precarious position, then we could pull her up.

“She was cold and wet but in a reasonably good condition considering what it had gone through.

“She looked a lot healthier at the station and that was great to see!”

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