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Spaniel survives 300ft cliff drop

Tuesday February 23rd 2010

A dog who jumped off a 300ft cliff and landed in the sea has been rescued by lifeguards and returned to her owner.

Springer spaniel Poppy was chasing a seagull when she plummeted over the cliff-top at Seven Sisters, East Sussex.

Somehow she survived the drop - with only a partially collapsed lung - and paddled to a beach, where she was picked up by an RNLI team.

Gavin Butcher, 46, one of the voluntary lifeboat crew members who rescued the three-year-old dog, said: "She was shivering - she was cold and nervous but apart from that she was as good as gold.

"Springer spaniels tend to get excited and I believe she was chasing a seagull at the time.

"That's why we always recommend keeping dogs on a lead on the cliffs."

Poppy's owners, 26-year-old teaching assistant Kelly Ixer and 31-year-old tree surgeon Ben Markwick, were reunited with their pet at a Brighton vets.

Mr Markwick's sister and her partner had been walking the spaniel when she ran away from them.

Miss Ixer, who has a three-week-old son called Henry, said: "When we got the phone call we were absolutely frantic.

"Up until three weeks ago she was our baby."

Poppy has made a full recovery since her lucky escape.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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