Dog nearly a goner as cat chase ends in 60ft cliff plunge
A SPRINGER spaniel survived a 60ft plunge down a cliff face after an over-enthusiastic pursuit of a cat.
Relieved owner Cliodhna Reid, with 12-year-old Holly resting at her feet, praised the efforts of the emergency services to bring her pet to safety after the dog fell at Dunmore East, Co Waterford.
Jim Griffin, officer in charge at Dunmore East Coast Guard, said he believed the dog was led astray by a cat.
"The dog was on the cliff face and a little higher up on the ledge above was the cat," Mr Griffin said. "The cat scampered up the cliff and he didn't use any of his nine lives. The poor dog wasn't able to move like the cat was."
The rescuers were called into action on Friday afternoon after the dog ran through a fence and plunged down the rock face near the end of the new cliff walk in Dunmore East.
The coast guard deployed a boat to see if it could entice the dog into it but it was too rocky under the water near the cliff edge.
It then called in assistance from Tralee Coast Guard unit and deployed climbers down the rocks -- in the same fashion as if a person had fallen. The dog was placed into a rescue bag, strapped and carried up with one of the climbers and delivered into the arms of its owners.
Mr Griffin urged families enjoying the beautiful new cliff walk -- which is on the heritage trail in Dunmore East -- to ensure they kept dogs on leads. The coastguard has rescued nine dogs from the cliffs since the walk opened a year ago.
"She is hopefully going to be okay. She has to be stitched up. We brought her to the vets. One of her back paws is very sore," said Dublin-based Ms Reid, who was on holiday in Waterford when the accident happened. I know myself she won't be leaving the house without a lead on from now on," she added.