Raiders of the lost bark!

An inquisitive cocker spaniel had to be rescued by firefighters during one of his many canine adventures – after getting his head trapped in a metal fence.

Eight-year old Indi, aptly named after the famous intrepid explorer Indiana Jones, quite literally put his head on the line during his latest escapade.

His owner Emma Brown had been on a family walk with her two children Oliver aged 9 and Rose aged 4. They left their pooch to explore the garden while they removed their muddy wellies.

The family, from Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside, have had Indi in their lives for well over 7-years.

The 35-year-old was shocked when a concerned neighbour banged on her door to let her know Indi was stuck in the wrought iron fence.

He had stuck his head through the fence to say hello to passers-by but became panicked when his head wouldn’t move.

Emma says Indi had begun to choke himself in his bid for freedom – leaving her with no other choice but to call the fire and rescue service.

Crews from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the scene on Saturday, October 1st at around 11.45am, and sprang into action.

They decided to cut away the section of railings around Indi’s head before transporting him to a nearby vets where he was anaesthetised so the metal could be cut away safely.


Emma, a receptionist for a doctor’s surgery in County Durham, said Indi had done his namesake proud with all his adventures over the years.

“I got a bang on the door by a worried neighbour saying you better come quick as your dog has got his head stuck in your garden railings!” said Emma.

“I could write a book about all of Indi’s misgivings as he likes nothing more than to go on doggy adventures around the estate. He’s even got a girlfriend a few doors down!

“At first I just thought it was Indi being Indi, and he’d got into one of his little scrapes. But when I actually realised he was really stuck, pure panic set in. It was quite scary. I was thinking the worst could happen!

“Once Indi started to struggle and get more distressed there was no other way forward, and the Fire Service seemed like our only hope to free Indi.

“The fire crew were at the house before we knew it. I literally wanted to cry when I saw the fire engine as at this stage the children were also starting to get upset.”


Our TWFRS Fire Control deployed the fire appliance from Rainton Bridge Community Fire Station and it arrived at the scene just four-minutes later.

The firefighters quickly assessed the situation and decided to cutaway a small section of the gate using holmatro cutters to try and initially ease the pressure around Indi’s neck and throat area.

The next stage of the rescue was to urgently transport Indi in his fragile state to a nearby veterinary surgery.

Kevin Williams, TWFRS Watch Manager for Green Watch at Rainton Bridge Community Fire Station, said: “When a pet like Indi becomes stuck and distressed in the manner in which he was, we have to make the welfare of the animal our paramount concern and at the same time trying to reassure the owner of his safety.”

Watch Manager Williams was able to brief the vet in advance of their arrival to prepare them for the next part of the procedure.

Watch Manager Williams continued: “The quick thinking of our firefighters to remove a section of the gate using metal cutters ensured the frightened dog could then be urgently transported to the veterinary surgery for emergency treatment.

“Once Indi had been made comfortable and was anaesthetised we could then detach the remainder of the wrought iron fence from around his neck.

“Indi was always in safe hands and we even covered him in a fire blanket to ensure no sparks from the cutting caused any additional injuries. We are all happy and over the moon that Indi is now back in the arms of his owners.

“We can’t attend every animal rescue so the RSPCA should be your first port of call. But if we’re nearby and available, we will be on hand to help.”


The intricate rescue and operation took just over two-hours to complete.

Emma has revealed that her young daughter Rose even put on her vets’ dressy up outfit and said: “I’ll look after Indi.”

Today (Tuesday) Emma has said she will always have gratitude towards the Fire and Rescue Service after coming to her family’s aid.

She said: “Words can’t describe how our family feels about having Indi back where he belongs, safe and sound. The firefighters were absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t fault them what’s so ever.

“They were at the house so quickly and their reassurance was exactly what was required. We can’t thank them and the vet enough as we were extremely happy with the way Indi was so well looked after.”

The incident took place at around 11.45am on Saturday, October 1st.