Rescue team save leader's dog after snake bite

Cocker spaniel Elsa submerged in a river with rocky banks, she is staring intently at a yellow and blue ball floating in front of her
Within minutes of being bitten, Elsa became lethargic and unwell [Upper Wharfedale Rescue Association]

A mountain rescue team came to the aid of one of its leader's dogs which had been bitten by a snake while on a walk.

Cocker Spaniel Elsa fell poorly after being nipped on the nose by an adder while with owner Carol Hammond at Thruscross reservoir in Leeds on Friday.

Mrs Hammond was unable to get a phone signal to call husband Derek, who volunteers with the Upper Wharfedale Rescue Association (UWFRA), so dialled 999.

While Mr Hammond was working his day job, it was his local team that was sent to help carry Elsa and get her to the vets.

The snake that bit Elsa
Mr Hammond said it was the first time his wife had spotted a snake while out walking [Upper Wharfedale Rescue Association]

Mr Hammond, a mountain rescue volunteer for 22 years, said: "Elsa saw this snake on the path and Elsa, being a spaniel, must have thought 'oh, what's this' and of course went up to see.

"But the snake obviously took exception to that."

Mr Hammond said as Elsa carried on walking she became unwell and needed carrying, which his wife was unable to do.

"She tried to ring me, but her phone had no signal so her only option was 999.

"She knew there'd be a chance that the police would be able to ask mountain rescue to come out.

"Obviously when the team turned up, they all recognised each other."

After being a bit "fed up", Mr Hammond said Elsa was on the mend [Upper Wharfedale Rescue Association]

Twelve-year-old Elsa was taken to Forest House vets in Knaresborough and given antivenom.

Mr Hammond, from Staveley, said they had walked round the reservoir many times and never encountered a snake.

"Even with the mountain rescue work I do, we spend a lot of time in the hills, and it's very, very rare to see a snake.

"She was just very unlucky. But thankfully she's on the mend now."

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