SPCA New Zealand

Trapped with nowhere to go – River's daring rescue

24 December 2020
Trapped with nowhere to go – River's daring rescue

Our SPCA Inspectors, Field Officers and rescue teams work on the front line every day, rescuing animals who have been in an accident, abused, neglected, abandoned or caught up in natural disaster. This is River’s story.

On the side of the Mangonone Stream, River the puppywas stuck on a ledge, covered in thick mud and water and unable to move. She had no food, water or shelter, and needed urgent help.

Thankfully a member of the public saw River in her precarious position and alerted SPCA.

When SPCA Inspector Bayley and the team received the call, they sprang into action, gathering their equipment and made a plan on how they could get River to safety.

The rescue unfolds

On arrival, it was clear to Inspector Bayley that this job was going to be tougher than expected.

“The river was deeper than I expected and our team thought we might have had to lower someone down from the bank to uplift her. I tried to cross the stream again, luckily, I found a path that was stable enough. We were really lucky to Massey University’s Veterinary Response Team onsite to assist,” she says

When Inspector Bayley was able to reach River, she was surprised to see how young she was.

River was merely a puppy and at such a young age, she had already gone through so much.She was hypothermic and traumatised, numb to everything going on around her.

“River was obviously very lethargic. Our team had tried to call her to us from the other side of the stream, hoping she might swim, but she did not want to go into the water,” she says.

“River had no injuriesand was in no pain and discomfort. Once Inspector Bayley had waded through the freezing waters to reach here, River quickly learned that we were there to help her. “

After some careful maneuveringoff the ledge, and a gentle walk across the stream with River in her arms, Inspector Bayley was able to get River to safety.

“She was such a sweetie when we got her up on the bank. River snuggled right into our laps, we gave her lots of pats and a chance to adjust to the new environment.”

From rescue to rehomed

Once clear from harm’s way, the SPCA team’s priority was making sure River was in a stable condition.

River was taken to SPCA’s Palmerston North Centre. It was whilst in SPCA’s care that the team – very aptly – named her River.

“I saw a great improvement in River while she was at the Centre, it was really nice to see her doing so well,” Inspector Bayley says.

A few weeks later and River was happy, healthy, and ready to find her forever home. It didn’t take long for the perfect match to walk through SPCA’s doors, and now River is living a life of love and happiness with a family of her own.

These are the outcomes that make everything worthwhile for Inspector Bayley.

“I’m so happy that River found a home, it was obvious during her time at SPCA that she was a sweet wee girl. I hope she learns to swim at her new home,” she laughs.

To find out more about SPCA's work in animal rescue, click here.

Hello! Choose your nearest SPCA Centre and see content specific to your location:
Hit enter to submit