Firefighters use heartbeat device to free trapped Chorkie

'My heroes!' - Bear gets a cuddle from his rescuers.
'My heroes!' - Bear gets a cuddle from his rescuers.

Everyone’s heard about firefighters rescuing cats stuck up trees, but earlier this week a determined crew battled to save a little dog trapped underground.

The Chorkie, called Bear, had unwisely wandered into a rabbit warren beside Falkirk Road, and ended up hopelessly stuck in an underground labyrinth from which there seemed no escape.

Bear celebrates his release with a drink.

Bear celebrates his release with a drink.

A crew from Linlithgow and another from Alloa first tried digging up a part of the field where the Chorkie had disappeared, but without success - then turned to new technology for a solution.

They used specialist equipment to detect the faint sound of Bear’s heart beat, and were finally able to set him free.

Watch Manager Alan Roy said: “This was certainly one of our most unusual callouts.

“We were determined not to give up on this brave little animal.

“The life detector listening equipment is used in urban search and rescue situations where we try to locate people in collapsed buildings.

“Using a series of sequences we were able to pinpoint the approximate location of Bear - who appeared a bit bewildered but in good health.

“It was crucial we acted as quick as possible so the animal didn’t injure itself.

“He was hydrated with water after his ordeal and after some cuddles from the crew and his owner he looked set to go chasing the rabbits again.”

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed animal should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.