A major rescue operation was mounted yesterday to rescue a dog in danger of drowning in Bradford Beck.

It took almost three hours, the efforts of 12 firefighters – including a specialist crew based in Cleckheaton – police diverting traffic on a major commuter route and the expertise of two dog wardens to finally save the Bull Terrier-type dog they nicknamed Butch.

With a bruised shoulder and two fractured toes, Butch was believed to have somehow tumbled 30ft into the beck off Canal Road near Frizinghall railway station.

Dog wardens believe he could have been stuck down there for weeks without food.

Drainage workmen raised the alarm late on Tuesday afternoon, but a rescue bid had to be put on hold until the morning.

Three rescuers were lowered down on safety ropes on either side of where Butch was lying exhausted and starving. They used dog biscuits to coax him out and put a muzzle on.

Bradford District Station Commander Chris Booth said: “ Butch was so worn out we decided not to put him in a hoist and just pass him up to the top by hand. He was glad to be getting out and didn’t put up a fight.”

Terry Singh, who manages the Council’s Dog Service, praised rescuers’ efforts.

“We would never have got him out if it hadn’t been for them. We just want to say thank you.

“We’d appeal for his owner or anyone with information to contact us at the Council help centre on (01274) 431000.”