Barney, a 17 year old Collie is lucky to be alive today after being rescued from a canal in Pewsey, Wiltshire during a charity event on Saturday. The elderly dog was spotted by one of the teams taking part in the kayaking stage of the Vet Charity Challenge, a fund-raising event which sees veterinary staff and industry partners from all over the country come together to raise money for animal charities.

Barney had wandered off through an unlocked gate and fallen into the canal where a team from Kruuse UK managed to haul the struggling animal onto their kayak and down the canal towards a waiting group of vets and nurses. From there he was whisked to Drove Vets in Swindon where he has made an excellent recovery from his ordeal.

Andrew Groom from Kruuse said, “It was sheer luck that we happened to be paddling past at that point. The poor chap was struggling on the steep banks of the canal and kept slipping back in. He was getting very tired and at risk of drowning, and judging by his gums and heart rate, going into shock.”

Karien White from Drove vets commented, “Barney was a bit hypothermic when he was brought into us with a lot of bumps and bruises. We managed to warm him up and get him cleaned and after a little while his tail started wagging and he seemed very happy and friendly.”

News of Barney was posted onto a Pewsey Facebook page which helped his worried owners trace him to the vets. They collected him very much relieved, later that day.

The Vet Charity Challenge took place on Saturday 27th September at St Francis School, Pewsey, near Marlborough, Wiltshire. The day consisted of 50 of teams of four orienteering, cycling and kayaking as well as undertaking mental and physical tasks. The charity raised over £70,000 in its first two years, with this year expected to boost the funds even more. 

Gavin Mitchell, from founding sponsors, BCF Technology, commented, “We never dreamt that while trying to raise money for our partner charities, that we would end up saving the life of a pet in such a direct fashion. Had Team Kruuse not been passing at that point, the dog would almost certainly have drowned. It highlights the real commitment and passion that the vet profession feels towards helping animals.  Through our event we hope to reach out to help even more animals. People can donate directly to Vet Charity Challenge by contacting us via www.vetcharitychallenge.co.uk.”