MEATBALL the dog had a lucky escape when he fell 32ft while being walked by his owner at Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Ingleton, on Boxing Day.

The Irish Wheaten terrier fell into the river upstream of Pecca Bridge at around 1.30pm and had to be rescued by the Cave Rescue Organisation's specialist swift water team.

A spokesperson for the CRO said: "Although uninjured he (Meatball) was in a distressed state and unable to regain the path, so scrabbled onto a sloping, slippery ledge.

"Seeing their dog in difficulty his owner called North Yorkshire Police for assistance and they, in turn, called CRO. Once the location was confirmed, two members of CRO’s swift-water team went in the river, secured by other members on the bank. They were able to rescue the dog and restore him to his owner, apparently unharmed."

The spokesperson added: "Meatball had a lucky escape but, sadly, other dogs haven’t been so fortunate. Unless your dog is stronger or heavier than you, it might be a good idea to keep him or her on a lead through the gorge sections of the trail. If your dog does get into difficulty then please, don’t risk your own safety; call 999, ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue."