A terrified dog who ran in fear for five miles after being startled by a loud noise was later rescued from a live Wirral railway line.
Delilah had been stranded on the line near Upton Station, as a train approached, after becoming scared and running away on her morning walk near Kingsley Close in Pensby on Thursday.
Owner Claire Fishlock was walking the two-year-old crossbreed in nearby fields when a bird-deterrent noise was heard at a nearby farm, causing Delilah to flee.
She was hit by a nearby car as she fled and continued to run in a panic.
She was spotted hours later by another walker – five miles away near Upton station – when the terrified dog was seen running towards a metal fence at the side of the track after a train honked.
In her panic, Delilah was trying to poke her head through the gaps in the metal fence and the member of the public feared she would get stuck or if she returned she would be hit by a train, so they alerted the RSPCA.
Fire and rescue services were on the scene and joined forces with RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Katie Glenn to help the terrified animal.
Katie said: “I used my pliers and a leash to hold Delilah still so she wouldn’t run into the tracks while the fire brigade went to get permission from Network Rail to allow us to close the line so that we could reach the dog from a gate on the other side of the track.
“They closed the line and we were able to safely rescue Delilah who was clearly terrified.
“Luckily she had a collar with her owner’s mobile number on it so I called Claire to tell her we were rescuing her dog and she came to the scene.
“A team from Saughall Massie Fire Station and train workers were amazing in helping to save the pooch and it was a great team effort.
“I must admit I thought I had heard of bad weather delaying trains, but never a dog!
“It was so nice to see her reunited with her owner Claire who was visibly worried sick when she ran away and she kept running for five miles along the roads and the railway line so she was clearly terrified – he really was a lucky dog.”
Claire said: “Delilah is a Romanian rescue dog so she is nervous but we have been working on her recall and she is doing so well.
“That loud bird scarer made a huge bang and then she ran away.
“I then heard a thud and knew she had been cut off by a car so I went looking for her but to no avail and I was really upset thinking we wouldn’t see her again.
“Delilah still seems a little shy after her ordeal but she’s doing better. I quoted the Tom Jones song ‘Oh why, why, why Delilah!’ when I brought her home.
“She had a vet check and we think she just hit a car but wasn’t seriously injured – she’s really lucky to survive this whole ordeal.
Delilah with owner Claire Fishlock, RSPCA animal welfare officer Katie Glenn and the firefighter involved in the rescue
Claire continued: “I’m so grateful for the team effort involved in rescuing Delilah – the RSPCA, Fire Brigade and Network Rail were fantastic and she now gets lots of hugs at home.”
To help the RSPCA continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in desperate need of care, please visit the charity’s website or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181.