A poor dog was rescued after getting trapped in a waterlogged concrete shaft for around a week.

Badger, a large crossbreed, was found by chance after a dog walker noticed him after happening upon a partially open hole in the ground after luckily taking a new route on Phoenix Sidings in Stockton on Friday (April 12).

The man discovered the dog stuck at the bottom of the 15ft shaft – initially mistaking the animal for a badger, which later inspired its name.

He called the RSPCA who contacted Cleveland Fire Brigade to help rescue the frightened pup, which had been stuck neck-deep in contaminated water.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Crossbreed rescued from shaft in Stockton Credit: RSPCA

A member of the fire service descended down the narrow and deep tube to save the dog with the use of a fire hose.

RSPCA Inspector Steph Baines said: “It was a complete stroke of luck that the man was in the area as he never walked his dogs there before.

“It’s also incredibly lucky that he was interested enough to peer into the hole. But the biggest miracle is that he even spotted the animal at the bottom of the shaft because it was incredibly dark and very deep.

“When he called us he believed it was a badger stranded in the contaminated water at the bottom of the shaft.

“When we arrived, we could only just see the animal but couldn’t be sure so we took a video that was zoomed right in and spotted that it was in fact a dog.”

The canine was wearing a leather collar with brass studs and a black leather lead, and officers believe he may have run off during a walk and fallen into the hole. He is microchipped but the chip isn’t registered.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Crossbreed rescued from shaft in Stockton Credit: RSPCA

He is now being cared for by vets who found his skin had been blistered by the contaminated water.

The RSPCA said he is being fed using a feeding tube but is drinking water independently and getting stronger day by day.

Officers believe the dog has been stuck at the bottom of the shaft for a number of days – and believe Badger could even have been down there for a week.

They added the dog has blisters on the inside of his mouth, likely resulting from drinking the contaminated water, which officers believe saved his life.

“He’s still very weak and he’s not out of the woods yet but he’s getting stronger every day and he can now manage little walks outside to go to the toilet. His tail has even started wagging,” she added.

“Badger is lucky to be alive and he’s really lovely; a friendly, gentle giant. There must be someone out there who is missing him and wondering where he’s gone.

“Please contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 if you know where he may have come from. We’d love to reunite him with his family.”

Inspector Krissy Raine said: “He was up to his neck and could barely keep his head above the water. He was giving up in front of our eyes and it was a real race against time.”

“Badger couldn’t stand but he’s a huge dog, even though he was clearly underweight, so we wrapped him in a big towel like a stretcher and it took four of us to carry him to my van.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the man who found Badger and called us for help, as well as the fire crew who got him out of the shaft, and the vets who are now providing him with round-the-clock care.

“We all need to work together to help create a kinder world for every animal and each act of kindness makes a difference; Badger’s life has been saved thanks to everyone who pulled together to help him.”

A spokesperson from Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “After a successful rescue mission we are so happy to hear that the dog has pulled through and survived what must have been a terrifying ordeal and is now in the care of the RSPCA who are doing an incredible job of looking after him.

“We’d like to thank everyone involved in saving this beautiful dog’s life and we wish him well in his recovery and hope he finds the love and attention he deserves soon.”