Vale woman's warning after puppy swept into storm drain
A VALE woman has warned pet owners and parents about the dangers of storm drains, after her puppy was swept into one - and only just survived the ordeal.
Jenny French, of St Athan, was walking seven-month-old labrador Millie in fields near Aberthaw Power Station when the pup was swept into a drain.
Jenny, 25, said: "We walk there all the time and she ran through a stream of water, but the suction was so strong that she got pulled into the drain.
"I couldn't get to her as there's a concrete grate that goes over the ground, so she went out to sea. I ran down to the beach but she couldn't swim back.
"I thought she was never going to get out but she appeared unconscious behind me."
A vet later confirmed that Millie had been knocked unconscious, and the 21kg pup was left suffering from hypothermia and pneumonia, as well as the effects of concussion.
Jenny, who works as a nanny in Sully, said Millie has now made an 'unbelievable recovery', but added: "I was absolutely terrified - it was the most horrendous experience."
And she called for the drains to be made secure or for appropriate signage to be put up.
"All I can keep thinking about is that so many people walk down there that this is bound to happen to someone else, and god forbid a child gets swept away," she said.
"I couldn't live with myself if I hadn't tried to inform other dog walkers and parents, as maybe something could be done about it."
Jenny, originally from Scotland, added: "I used to go there three or four times a week, but we don't walk there any more."
Andrew Loosemore, Vale Council operational manager, highways and engineering, said: "We're sorry to hear about the puppy's nasty experience; it must have been very distressing for her and her owner.
"The matter has been reported to us and we are investigating. The storm drains at this location do not belong to the council and are the responsibility of whoever owns the land. We are currently attempting to identify the land owner."