A distressed pet owner has been joyfully reunited with her beloved dog, Ralph, who was discovered trapped in a rabbit hole five days after he went missing.

Sarah Mclellan, 33, was devastated when Ralph, their wire-haired Dachshund, disappeared during a walk near their home in Haworth, West Yorkshire last week. Despite their desperate efforts—organizing search parties, posting in Lost Dog Facebook groups, and even creating a website for Ralph—they couldn’t locate him.

“On Friday, the weather was horrendous, freezing, and we couldn’t find him anywhere,” Mclellan shared. “Your mind starts racing, wondering what’s happened. Has he drowned? Has something terrible occurred? My son was asking for him, opening the door and calling out—it was heartbreaking. We had to tell him that Daddy was looking for him.”

In a miraculous turn, Ralph was eventually sniffed out by his sister, Edie, during a walk with Mclellan’s husband on Monday. Ralph had been trapped five feet underground in a complex network of rabbit burrows just half a mile from home. After two hours of careful digging, they finally rescued him.

“The rabbit holes are like mazes, and he must have gone in through one and got stuck—making himself a hole in the middle but couldn’t get out again,” Mclellan explained. “When he got out, he had a wee and then carried on as if nothing had happened! When I got back home, I opened the door, and there he was in the kitchen. I couldn’t believe it.”

Despite losing weight during his ordeal, Ralph escaped serious injuries.

“Ralph is completely exhausted, and he’s worn down his nails from trying to dig himself out, but otherwise, he’s fine,” Mclellan reassured. “He’s lost weight and is very tired—he just needs time to recover.”

Relieved and grateful, Mclellan hopes Ralph’s happy ending will inspire hope for others searching for their pets.

“It was such a drama, and I was still in shock when I saw him—I stayed up until 1 am last night just cuddling him,” she said. “He does enjoy chasing rabbits a lot, but he just took it too far this time. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson.”

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