A black Labrador has been reunited with his owner after falling down a 20ft well during a woodland walk this week.

Roger Bacon had taken his two dogs out for a walk near Boyatt Lane, in Eastleigh, Hampshire, when he noticed Willy, seven, was no longer following. He then heard his pet barking from inside a deep and narrow pit concealed by ivy.

Willy could also be heard splashing around in the water at the bottom of the well. Roger said: ‘I’ve lived in the area for years and never knew this well was hidden there. Anyone’s pet or even a child could be in danger of falling in.’

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Roger called Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for assistance with retrieving Willy. The service’s dedicated animal rescue team attended the scene, and firefighter Pete Richards was lowered into the well.

He secured Willy at the bottom of the pit, and the dog was lifted out by firefighters using specialist equipment.

The dog, who fortunately did not sustain any injuries from the ordeal, was then taken to a decontamination area and cleaned with warm water. He has since been recovering with his owner at home.

Roger said after the incident: ‘Willy has had a much-needed bath and a good chew on his bone this morning and seems very well.

‘I hope other dog owners never have to go through the experience I had, but it’s a lesson to beware of hidden wells and pits when out walking. I am extremely grateful to HFRS for their quick and swift response in rescuing Willy.’

Animal Rescue Advisor Jim Green emphasised the importance in seeking professional help when animals get into difficulty.

He went on: ‘As demonstrated by the complexity of this rescue, it is important to recognise your limitations and if necessary seek specialist advice.

‘HFRS are proud of our response to animal incidents by bringing knowledge and experience to reassure the public that we are responding for their safety and the safety of their furry family members.’

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