Sheep in river rescue drama

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A young man and his dog carried out a baa-rking mad river rescue to save the life of a drowning lamb.

When the RSPCA failed to come out to help, Chris Atkinson stripped off and plunged into the chilly water.

His tiny dog Sasha promptly jumped in too, paddling determinedly alongside him.

“We had to swim right across the river to reach the sheep, which looked in a pretty bad way by the time we got there,” said the 24-year-old.

The four-month-old lamb was spotted in the Ouse at New Bradwell at 6.30am last Thursday. Chris’s mum Gail heard of its plight and called the RSPCA.

“They said they couldn’t do anything at all,” said Chris.

By the time he returned from work at 4.30pm the animal was almost submerged in water.

“It had clearly given up. It was just standing there totally still, waiting to die.

“I managed to heave it out of the water but it just laid there on the grass. I tried to dry it, and Sasha pushed it and yapped at it to encourage it to move.”

Within minute the lamb was up and bleating – a cue for its mother to rush over for a joyful reunion.

Now the RSPCA is investigating why help was refused. A spokesman said the charity rescues thousands of farm animals every year.