Dog rescued after four-day mine shaft ordeal

A dog missing for four days has been rescued safe and well after being discovered in an abandoned mine shaft.

Olive the red fox labrador went missing on Thursday 14 April while on a walk at Lady Canning's Plantation in Sheffield.

Search parties and drones were all involved in the search for her and she was eventually saved after being heard whimpering down a deep hole.

Owner Jo Belton said: "Not only was she there, but she seemed fine. It is unbelievable."

Two-year-old Olive had been out accompanied by a dog walker when she disappeared from sight.

Ms Belton said at first she had tried to stay calm after hearing the news, but as the hours passed it started to "feel surreal".

"The worst thing was, there was no sightings. It was like she vanished."

The dog liked to go off and follow a scent, but she usually always returned when called, Ms Belton said.

"By Monday, we just started to lose hope. It's like a needle in a haystack."

Members of voluntary dog searching group Hart Sar were called in, with teams dispatched to where Olive was reported missing.

Drone pilots also scoured the area using thermal imaging cameras, with search dogs deployed.

Olive's faint cries were finally heard by a family friend who was out searching on Monday.

News of her potentially having been found sent Ms Belton into "a complete meltdown", she admitted.

"We were convinced she was dead. Four days, four nights. We were a bit hysterical."

Fire crews were called to help rescue Olive, who it emerged had fallen about 12ft (3.6m) down the former mine shaft.

Volunteer searcher Simon Marples said: "The shaft was in the middle of long grass, so we had searched in that area.

"She could have gone down there and died. Luckily she'd been licking the rockface for water."

On Monday night, friends of Ms Belton celebrated Olive's rescue by "cracking open the champagne", she said.

"Our black lab and border terrier were going crazy. Olive was just really tired."

Ms Belton thanked volunteers and the fire service for their help.

"She's like a local celebrity. I'm taking her walking on a lead now," she added.