Couple in Ireland rescue freezing dog, only to be reported to police for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules

The couple, both doctors, wrapped the cold golden retriever up and carried her downhill before she was reunited with her owners. — Screengrab from TikTok/jeanfrancoiswillem
The couple, both doctors, wrapped the cold golden retriever up and carried her downhill before she was reunited with her owners. — Screengrab from TikTok/jeanfrancoiswillem

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The good deeds of a couple in Ireland who rescued a freezing dog, saw their good deed result in a member of the public reporting them for violating lockdown rules.

Doctors Ciara Nolan and Jean Francois Bonnet had come across the eight-year-old golden retriever near a summit in Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains earlier this month.

The dog named Neesha had been reported missing two weeks earlier and the couple found her too cold to move.

They then wrapped the dog in a parka and Bonnet carried the dog on his back before beginning their 9.66km downhill hike.

A TikTok clip posted on February 6 showws Neesha dangling from a makeshift scarf harness and the dog can be seen resting on Bonnet’s back as they walked across the cold, uneven terrain.

“She was near the summit, covered in snow, freezing cold, couldn’t stand or bark, and covered in wounds on her legs,” he said.

“We dressed her in our spare clothes and carried her down the mountain for about 10 kilometres.”

Despite their heroic rescue efforts however police received reports that the couple was breaking non-essential travel rules after the video went viral.

A member of the public who reported the incident questioned whether the medical couple who are from Arklow in County Wicklow were obeying Irish lockdown rules that include a 5km travel limit from one’s home without a reasonable excuse, The Irish Independent reported.

Bonnet and Nolan were staying at the Elbowroom Escape lodge, a mental health retreat for essential workers in Donard when they went for their hike and stumbled upon the missing dog.

Ireland’s police force, the Gardai, is now investigating the claim.

“Gardai in Wicklow are carrying out enquiries in relation to premises in the Donard area of Wicklow,” a police representative told Dublin Live.

“The premises in question remain closed pending the outcome of the gardaí enquiry.”

 

 

The good news is Neesha has since been reunited with her family, who were about to give up hope that their beloved pooch was gone forever.

One of Neesha’s owners Erina O’Shea Goetelen told RTE News that their dog was out on a walk with the family when it ran off to chase a deer.

They returned to find her the following day but there was no sign of Neesha.

The canine’s incredible story of survival has left her owners baffled as to how she managed to stay alive for so long on her own out in the cold.

“Maybe she got a bit of shelter in the forest, I just don’t know,” O’Shea Goetelen said.

While she was missing in the mountains for two weeks, Neesha lost one-third of her body weight and also developed dermatitis.

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