A 17-year-old collie was rescued from a canal in Pewsey, Wiltshire during a charity event on Saturday.

Barney was spotted by one of the teams taking part in the kayaking stage of the Vet Charity Challenge, a fund-raising event that sees veterinary staff and industry partners from all over the country come together to raise money for animal charities.

Barney had wandered through an unlocked gate and fallen into the canal. A team from Kruuse UK managed to haul the animal on to their kayak and down the canal towards a waiting group of vets and nurses.

From there he was taken to Drove Vets in Swindon where he has made an excellent recovery. Andrew Groom from Kruuse said, “It was sheer luck we happened to be paddling past at that point.”

“The poor chap was struggling on the steep banks of the canal and kept slipping back in.

“He was getting very tired and at risk of drowning, and judging by his gums and heart rate, going into shock.” Karien White from Drove Vets commented: “Barney was a bit hypothermic when he was brought into us with a lot of bumps and bruises.”

“We managed to warm him up and get him cleaned and after a little while his tail started wagging and he seemed very happy and friendly.”

News of Barney was posted on to a Pewsey Facebook page, which helped his worried owners trace him to the vets. They collected him later that day.

The Vet Charity Challenge took place on Saturday September 27 at St Francis School, Pewsey, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

The day consisted of 50 of teams of four orienteering, cycling and kayaking as well as undertaking mental and physical tasks.

The charity raised more than £70,000 in its first two years. Gavin Mitchell, from founding sponsors BCF Technology, said: “We never dreamed that while trying to raise money for our partner charities, we would end up saving the life of a pet in such a direct fashion.

“Had Team Kruuse not been passing at that point, the dog would almost certainly have drowned.
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