Dog rescue drama at Exmouth prompts care plea

A Litlleham dog owner is urging people to keep their pets under control after a near-drowning of a dog off Exmouth.

Chloe Fox, 40, of Rodney Close, was walking her Border collie puppy on Sandy Bay beach when she spotted a dog being swept out to sea.

Chloe said it was thanks to a selfless Good Samaritan braving the outgoing tide, putting her own life at risk, the dog was saved.

She added that the dog’s owner was further up the beach, unaware her pet was in danger.

Urging pet owners to take care when walking dogs without leads along cliffs, or letting them run unchecked near open water, Chloe said: “The dog was going under the water and coming up again, with the waves breaking over its head. The current was pulling it out with the tide.

“It was traumatic to watch. Children were watching. The dog was struggling. It was just exhausted.

“It was crying like a child. It was horrific.”

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When the owner was found, said Chloe, “She said, ‘Oh, she’ll be okay. She’s a strong swimmer’.

“When she was told the dog had nearly died, she said, ‘Oh I don’t need this’. There were no apparent thanks for saving the dog.”

Eyewitnesses said the dog had been seen running free on the beach for around an hour before the drama began.

Chloe said: “The lady put herself at risk. We all said she was a hero, but she didn’t want to give her name, or have any fuss made. She should get a medal.”

The RSPCA animal charity hailed the rescuer as ‘incredibly’ brave.

However, spokeswoman Jo Barr said: “If people see an animal in distress in the water, we would urge them to contact the coastguard or suitable emergency service, and not endanger themselves trying to rescue it.”

She called on all dog owners to be responsible and keep a very close eye on their pets.