Missing dog lucky to be alive after being rescued from M5

A dog who escaped from a box on the back of its owner’s truck this morning has been found safe and well just before the junction of a motorway. Had three-year-old Eley not been spotted and rescued by a quick thinking couple the outcome could have been very different. The fox red cocker spaniel dog, owned by Simon Mitchelmore, went missing this morning after he set off from his home in Deer Park Road in Dartmouth at 6.50am to enjoy a day of shooting at Loyton Sporting in Exmoor.

It was only when he arrived and went to let Eley out of his box that he realised the lock had not been secured when he set off and the dog had escaped somewhere along the route.

Eley on his way home

Simon, along with the help of gun dog trainer friend Sue Nicholls, launched an urgent appeal to find Eley which was published on Devon Live. Luckily, it was seen by Tiverton butcher Graham Johns, of GM Butchers, who believed he had vital information.

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Sue said: “He saw a post on Devon Live and rang me direct to say a chap had been into the butchers asking if anyone had lost a little spaniel? He told me thought he had gone to Park Hill Veterinary Clinic.

“When I rang them they confirmed he had been in and was checked over and was with the couple. “This afternoon Simon and I picked him up outside the veterinary surgery. The couple said they found him at junction 27.

“The box he was in must have come open as the truck went around the corner.

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“Eley stopped at the side of the road to have a poo and it’s lucky he did because the couple saw him and stopped the traffic. They put a lead on him, picked him up and put him in their car. “He has a few little scratches on him and is a bit shaky, but that’s to be expected after what he has been through.

“We are over the moon. Where he was found was close to where something bad could have happened. We are relieved to be bringing him home rather than back in a bag.”

An urgent appeal was launched to find Eley

Simon, whose father owns Dartmouth Crab Company, had been searching all day for Eley and is now relieved to have him back home.

He said: “It’s fantastic news. Everything was going through my mind at the time. To get him back safe and sound is my dream come true.

“He looks okay to me other than minor cuts and bruises. It could have been a lot different.

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“I can’t thank everyone enough for their help, and without the couple I would not have my dog. There is definitely some good people in the world.”

Revealing what’s in store for Eley today at home, Simon said: “He will have a nice hot bath.”

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