Cats are the four-legged creatures usually labeled “most curious,” but a story coming out of the United Kingdom today would suggest otherwise.
Jasper, a spunky 8-month-old Border Collie from Nottingham, England, was recently adopted by a loving family in Huckall. While out exploring his new backyard, Jasper noticed a very intriguing hole in the side of an outbuilding.
To human eyes, the hole would have looked like nothing more than a small air vent; but to Jasper, it must’ve been something infinitely more interesting.
Meanwhile, Jasper’s owner Sharon Hourihan called for Jasper from the back door to her home. When the pup didn’t come running, Hourihan put on her shoes and went looking for him in the garden. It didn’t take long for Hourihan to find her dog, but by the time she spotted Jasper, the curious Collie had gotten himself into quite a pickle.
Jasper, exploring the air vent on the side of Hourihan’s outbuilding, had managed to get his head completely wedged in the hole, a small 3-inch gap in the brick just big enough for a determined dog to get his head caught but just small enough to make it impossible for Jasper to free himself.
Worried, Hourihan did what any pet parent would do — thinking quickly, she ran inside for some dog shampoo and rubbed the liquid all over Jasper’s wedged neck. She hoped the soap would lessen the friction so she could easily slide Jasper’s head out of the hole in the wall. The soap was slippery, but try as she did Hourihan could not free her poor dog.
Unsure of what to do next, Hourihan called Nick Wheelhouse, an inspector for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Wheelhouse tried his best as well, but to no avail. As the minutes ticked on, the terrified Jasper began to desperately thrash and flail. Worried Jasper might hurt himself, Wheelhouse contacted the fire department and a local veterinarian for help.
Veterinarian Tom Foster was called in to the scene to aid in Jasper’s rescue. As the trapped Border Collie fought to free himself, Dr. Foster administered a safe sedative so the emergency crews could do what they needed to do to help Jasper.
“Jasper was getting distressed by his situation and was putting up a fight so he needed to be sedated to stop him injuring himself,” Dr. Foster explains. “After he was sedated he was snoring! His head was down and he was asleep which made it easier for the rescuers to work round him and I stayed to make sure he was stable.”
While Jasper slept soundly, the emergency crews used specialized equipment to pry away the frame of a window near the infamous hole in the wall. They then pulled away the wall above Jasper’s head carefully, brick by brick until they were finally able to pull Jasper’s head from the air vent while Hourihan, Wheelhouse and Dr. Foster looked on in amazement.
“I can say this was one of the strangest cases I had been called out to deal with,” says Dr. Foster.
Wheelhouse agrees. “This was certainly one of the more unusual rescues I have been called to attend,” Wheelhouse says. “Fortunately despite his ordeal Jasper was fine and I just want to thank everyone who took part in the rescue.”
“He was a bit wobbly on his feet for a few hours, but by the next day he was right as rain and you’d never know anything had happened to him,” Hourihan says of Jasper.
But has Jasper’s ordeal taught him to keep his curiosity in check?
“You’d think he would have learned his lesson, but I do have to keep an eye on him,” Hourihan admits, “because his favorite place to go and play now is the hole in the wall left by the fire service!”