Press release

Owner appeal as Highways England traffic officers rescue collie

A dog owner is being urged to come forward after Highways England traffic officers rescued a border collie from a motorway.

Traffic officers Rob Lawless and James Critchley, who are based at the Rob Lane outstation at Newton-le-Willows, were dispatched to the M58 earlier today (Thursday 12 November) after reports of dogs running along the hard shoulder between junction 1 and junction 3 of the westbound carriageway of the motorway near Ormskirk.

Dog 1

When they arrived, they found the male border collie in the hard shoulder and managed to get the dog into their 4 wheel drive traffic officer vehicle. There was no sign of an owner nearby so James and Rob arranged for the dog to be taken to Leigh Dogs and Cats Home so it could be scanned for an owner chip. Unfortunately, it was quickly established the chip is an old one and the home has been unable to contact the owner. Highways England is now urging the owner to contact the home so they can be reunited with the collie.

Dog 2

Highways England outstation team manager Jane Howard said:

Our traffic officers are very experienced in dealing with these kinds of incidents. Animals straying onto the motorway network can cause collisions with drivers braking suddenly and swerving.

During this morning’s incident our colleagues in the regional control centre at Newton-le-Willows quickly set speed and warning signs to alert drivers to the danger and we sent Rob and James out to investigate.

While our priority in these cases is to contain any incidents and get motorways moving properly again, we try to deal with any animals – especially pets – sensitively and humanely. Rob and James did a brilliant job today in quickly locating the collie, retrieving him from the hard shoulder and making arrangements for him to be taken to the dogs’ home and scanned for a chip so he could be reunited with its owner.

Unfortunately, it appears the chip is an old one but we are crossing our fingers that the owner can be identified as soon as possible and the collie can go home.

Dog 3

Anyone who knows the identity of the owner of the collie can contact Leigh Dogs and Cats Home on 01942 671 215.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.