Missing puppy feared dead survives 100ft cliff fall in Devon

Labrador Rufus was found unhurt on a cliff face at Hope Cove beach, South Devon. (SWNS)
Labrador Rufus was found unhurt on a cliff face at Hope Cove beach, South Devon. (SWNS)

A puppy has been rescued two days after he was presumed dead following a 100ft plunge off a cliff edge.

Labrador Rufus was found unhurt despite having spent two days alone in the rain on a cliff face at Hope Cove beach, South Devon.

The 18-month-old dog plummeted over a cliff edge while on a walk with owner Rowan Boddington, 41, on 7 August.

Mr Boddington assumed the worst after his frantic searches for his pet proved unsuccessful.

But another walker spotted Rufus sheltering on the cliff face the following day and the coastguard then winched the dog back to safety.

Rowan Boddington, 41, with his 18-month-old red Labrador Rufus. (SWNS)
Rowan Boddington, 41, with his 18-month-old red Labrador Rufus. (SWNS)

Rufus was reunited with Mr Boddington in a touching moment caught on camera, with Rufus joyfully wagging his tail.

Mr Boddington, from St Ives, said: "I’m just over the moon to have him back and I’m indebted to everyone who searched for him and helped in the rescue operation.

“I think he must have been racing in the long grass and heather and then suddenly there was nothing underneath him and he got caught out and went over the edge.

"He must have tumbled and rolled a fair way down as the buckle on his harness is chipped and he’s got a few superficial cuts on his face."

Megan Higgins, an RSPCA rescue officer, added: “I was amazed at the condition Rufus was in, given how far he had fallen and how long he had been there for.

"He had been out in the pouring rain and at first the rescue team were not even sure if he was alive.

"But when he saw them coming down the cliff his tail started to wag furiously and he looked at them as if to say ‘have you come for me?’”

Drew Parkinson, coastguard chief for South Devon, said: “We all feared the worst. So to get a call two days later and then to see Rufus was a heart-lifting moment for us all.

"It was an uplifting end to what could have been a very sad story, and we’re glad we were able to help.”

Watch: Puppy rescued from frozen lake