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Pet Shar Pei Shadow fell off 547ft high cliff but managed to survive for 45 days

An 18-month-old dog which plunged down a 547ft high cliff has been reunited with its owner after limping the rock face for a gruelling 45 days.

Shadow, a Shar Pei, survived by eating seaweed and sucking the moisture from sticks and stones following his slip from Falcon Hill Beacon in Eype, Dorset last month. 

Amber Whiting, the heartbroken owner who launched a string of desperate appeals, had given up hope of seeing her beloved pooch again and feared him to have perished on the rocks.

But six weeks after his fall, Shadow – who had shed half his body weight and shattered his right front leg – was discovered by holidaymakers last Sunday.

Shadow, a Shar Pei, survived by eating seaweed and sucking the moisture from sticks and stones following his slip from Falcon Hill Beacon in Eype, Dorset last month

But six weeks after his fall, Shadow - who had shed half his body weight and shattered his right front leg - was discovered by holidaymakers last Sunday

But six weeks after his fall, Shadow – who had shed half his body weight and shattered his right front leg – was discovered by holidaymakers last Sunday

Amber said: ‘I’ve not stopped crying since he returned, I can’t believe he’s back with us. I thought he’d died or been stolen.

‘We searched and searched with friends, family, and volunteers – even the coastguard tried to find him.

‘When we had a call from Ken [the RSPCA inspector] to say he had Shadow and was heading to the vet, we couldn’t believe it.’

Shadow’s extraordinary struggle began on May 9 when he freed himself from his harness and tumbled off the clifftop.

A team of coastguards and volunteers scoured the coastline in search of the missing canine, but he was not discovered until last week.

Shadow's extraordinary struggle began on May 9 when he freed himself from his harness and tumbled off the clifftop (pictured)

Shadow’s extraordinary struggle began on May 9 when he freed himself from his harness and tumbled off the clifftop (pictured)

Amber Whiting, the heartbroken owner who launched a string of desperate appeals, had given up hope of seeing her beloved pooch again and feared him to have perished on the rocks

Amber Whiting, the heartbroken owner who launched a string of desperate appeals, had given up hope of seeing her beloved pooch again and feared him to have perished on the rocks

But the hound’s punishing stint alone on the cliff has taken its toll and Shadow emerged ‘unrecognisable’ – even to his owner.

Amber said: ‘When my husband first saw him he didn’t think it was him, despite the microchip details, as he looked so different.

‘He was always quite chunky dog so it’s shocking to see him so thin.

‘He seems to have survived by eating anything he could as he’s had stones, sticks and dried seaweed removed from his stomach.

‘We have three sons and he means everything to them – we were all heartbroken when he went missing.

‘He’s such a soft and gentle dog, I cried myself sick thinking about him lost and alone without his snuggle blanket, or worrying about what might have happened to him.

The hound's (pictured before he disappeared) punishing stint alone on the cliff has taken its toll and Shadow emerged 'unrecognisable' - even to his owner

The hound’s (pictured before he disappeared) punishing stint alone on the cliff has taken its toll and Shadow emerged ‘unrecognisable’ – even to his owner

‘We called him Shadow because when we first got him he was like a shadow following us around, always close by our sides, so the thought of him without us was unbearable.

‘The vet has said he was perhaps trapped somewhere after falling from the cliffs after slipping his harness.

‘I wish he was a barker because he may have been found sooner as there will have been so many people nearby during the time he was missing.

‘I explained to the boys’ that what he’d been through would have been painful and awful for him and that he may not be the same dog he once was, to make sure they understood he needed time and space to get better.

‘But we were all shocked to see him wagging his tail and wobbling towards us for strokes and kisses straight away.

‘He’s such a fighter, it’s a miracle to see how he has survived and how he’s getting stronger all the time.

‘Now he’s off the feeding tube he’s having small portions of specialist food as he gets accustomed to eating again.’

Shadow will now have to undergo surgery to fix its leg which was fractured during the fall

Shadow will now have to undergo surgery to fix its leg which was fractured during the fall

Since his rescue, Shadow has undergone surgery to remove articles from his stomach, including sticks, stones, and dried seaweed he’d seemingly eaten in an effort to survive.

He will also require further operations to correct a badly reset broken leg, which is thought to have been caused after the fall from the 547ft cliff face.

RSPCA inspector Ken Snook, who received a call about an injured dog who had been found on the beach at Eype, near Bridport at around 8pm, said: ‘He was visibly emaciated and not fully weight-bearing on his rear left leg.

‘Thankfully, he had a microchip when I scanned him and we were able to locate full owner details.

‘Once I had Shadow’s name, a quick Google search revealed him as lost or stolen and last seen on May 9.

‘I then rang the Whitings’ and they were so quick they were at the vets before me!

‘Shadow’s reaction to his owner was amazing, and proves beyond doubt the bond between dogs and their owners.’

The family has launched a fundraising appeal to cover the cost of surgery to Shadow’s injured leg. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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