A Jack Russell Terrier called Sally had a bit of a ‘ruff’ night last Tuesday (February 6) after her owner was involved in a crash on the M23.

Highways England traffic officers Nick Sivell and John Winser were called to an incident after reports of a car colliding with the central reservation. The driver was taken to a hospital, leaving Sally and the car on the hard shoulder waiting for recovery.

Normally, highway officers will contact a nearby animal rescue to take the animals but in Sally’s case, no one was available at the time and so Nick and John decided to care of the pooch in peril themselves.

Nick said, “If you have an emergency on the motorway and need to stop, it is always safest to leave any animals travelling with you in the car, while you and any passengers get out and behind a barrier. The driver did the right thing. Normally, we’d contact a local animal sanctuary or kennel who could look after any stranded animals, but on Tuesday there was no one who could help straight away.

“Poor Sally was stressed and having a really ruff time, not only after the impact of the collision, but seeing her owner being taken away in an ambulance. We realised that the only solution to this canine conundrum was for us to look after her for a while.”

Sally made herself at home at the control centre

Sally was taken back to Highways England’s regional control centre in Godstone where she was looked after while they tried to find someone to solve their doggie dilemma.

John adds, “Part of our job is being able to be adaptable and keeping an eye out for anything unusual, and we always keep our eyes and ears open, but this was certainly something we don’t deal with every day.”

Both officers had attended an animal handling course which gave them training and techniques on how to deal with a variety of stressed animals, which helped them know how to comfort the 15-year-old.

Once Sally had made herself at home at the control centre, the officers got in touch with Furry Friends, a rescue centre near Godstone, who arranged to care for Sally.

John continued, “Luckily the driver was okay and has been discharged from hospital. Sally was collected from Furry Friends in Coulsdon, and the driver and Sally are now reunited at home in Brighton. We are so glad this tail had a yappy ending.


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