A Jack Russell terrier has cheated death for a second time after its leg became impaled on an iron gatepost.

Frank with Hayley Brobyn.
Frank with Hayley Brobyn.

Vet Hayley Brobyn of Charter Veterinary Surgeons worked around the clock to save Frank after his right hind leg became trapped in an old railway line fence close to his home in Staffordshire.

Rusty bar

A rusty bar had wedged its way through 12cm of the dog’s muscle, narrowly missing his major arteries.

Firefighters cut Frank free and administered oxygen to keep him calm until he could be transported to Charter Veterinary Surgeons’ Newcastle-under-Lyme branch.

Dr Brobyn said: ”It’s very unusual to be treating a dog whose leg had been impaled on a fence, but it’s just one of those things and you get on with it.”


The drama unfolded when Frank went missing from his home. His owners, Linda and Alan Sanderson-Keeling, searched the vicinity and found the stricken dog half an hour later behind a neighbour’s garden that backs on to the old railway line.

“He’d tried to squeeze through the wrought iron bars and one had gone straight through his leg,” Mrs Sanderson-Keeling explained. “He never made a sound or a peep – he was just sitting there in absolute shock.”


Iron bar.
The iron bar that went through Frank’s hind leg (click to zoom).

When Dr Brobyn saw Frank, she bandaged the rod as it was unstable and weighing him down.

“The leg was very contaminated,” she said. “The iron bar was extremely rusty and we couldn’t just pull it out. I delicately cut the skin around it and thoroughly cleaned the wound from the rust. It was then thoroughly flushed.

While the operation went well, it was unclear whether Frank would have the full use of his leg. The outcome surprised everyone.

‘Above and beyond’

“When morning came and we got him out of the kennel, he was exactly as he should have been – it was quite a delight,” Dr Brobyn said.

This wasn’t the first time Frank had found himself on the operating table at the vets. Eight years earlier, he was hit by a car, but nursed back to health.

Speaking about Charter Veterinary Surgeons, part of the independently owned Willows Veterinary Group, Mrs Sanderson-Keeling said: “It always pushes the boat out. It goes above and beyond the call of duty every time.”

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