England star's dog saved by Rugby volunteers after jumping from car window on motorway - The Rugby Observer

England star's dog saved by Rugby volunteers after jumping from car window on motorway

Andy Morris 12th Jan, 2017   0

AN ENGLAND rugby star’s dog was rescued by animal lovers from the birthplace of the game, after it jumped from a car travelling on a motorway near the town.

England and Northampton Saints full-back Ben Foden was driving on the M6 when, to his horror, his nine-month-old puppy stood on the button to open the electric window and jumped out.

The Hungarian Vizsla puppy, named Jonah after the late All-Black winger Jonah Lomu, dodged traffic and ran off.

Ben contacted a local dog warden who alerted Rugby dog rescue charity Pawprints, triggering a four-day search involving police, posters, drones, thermal sensors and 30 volunteers.

A group of walkers eventually found Jonah – cold and hungry, but with just a few scratches – in a construction yard off the A5 near Newton on January 2.

Ben said of Jonah’s escape: “I was looking back to see what he was up to and all I saw was his rear end hanging from the window.

“I braked hard as hell and he fell out. He rolled onto the central reservation and I immediately thought the worst.”

Ben, married to Saturdays singer Una Healy, stopped on the hard shoulder and ran back in search of Jonah – but the dog had vanished.

“I had to give up looking when it turned dark,” the 31-year-old said. “I’d heard reports Jonah was spotted looking quite badly injured about an hour and a half after escaping. I went home feeling very low.”

But when they received the call telling them where to find Jonah, Pawprints volunteers sprang into action.

Pawprints trustee Trisha Shaw – who won a Britain Has Spirit Community Hero award last October – said: “Jonah wouldn’t come to our volunteers, so they kept him calm and waited for Ben to arrive.

“Jonah was thrilled to see Ben, and vice-versa.

“It’s been very helpful for the charity. Our profile has been raised and that can never be a bad thing for dogs that are looking for new homes.

“We had a phenomenal response from the public. The community in Rugby were astounding. It wasn’t just our usual supporters – it was everybody, and we’re incredibly grateful towards them.”

Ben later took to Instagram to thank the search party for their efforts.

He wrote: “I can’t thank everyone enough who gave up their time to help search for Jonah.

“Everyone at Pawprints deserve medals. Thank you, thank you, thank you from me and the dog of steel Jonah.”


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