Couple who rescued a freezing dog in Wicklow mountains has been reported to the police for supposedly flouting lockdown rules.
The couple, Ciara Nolan and Jean-Francois, had been hiking through the snow-covered Wicklow mountains when they came across the golden retriever, Neesha, freezing helplessly.
Neesha herself had been reported missing by her owners two weeks earlier before the couple came across him on the 6th of February.
The couple made a clip of the rescue which was posted on TikTok the following day.
In the clip, Neesha could be seen dangling from inside a makeshift harness on Jean’s back as they proceeded on the rugged terrain.
The harness had been made from Ciara’s scarf.
However, the heroic couple, despite their good deeds, has been reported to Garda, the police of Wicklow, and, now, investigations are being carried out.
A Garda spokesperson has given a briefing on the case to Dublin Live, in which he said, “We are carrying out investigations regarding the premises in the Donald area of Wicklow.”
“The premises in question has been closed pending the outcome of our investigations,” he added.
Before the events that led to the rescuing of the 8-year-old dog, Ciara and Jean had been staying at the Elbowroom Escape lodge in Donard, Co;
whereas the people who reported them to ‘The Guides’ believe the couple had flouted the ‘5km non-essential travel’ rule as stated in the town’s current restrictions.
Neesha was helpless when the couple found her near the summit of the mountain. She had wounds on her legs and could barely move or bark.
The clip the couple recorded as Jean carried her 10km back down the mountain has garnered over three million views on TikTok, with many viewers heaping praises on the couple for their heroic act.
Even more, the couple provided the dog with food and shelter upon descending from the mountain and contacted the local animal rescue group that went on to inform her owners that she had been found.
— Conor Kane (@ConorKane0909) February 8, 2021
Regarding how Neesha got lost in the first place, the owners, the Goetelen family, gave an account that she had ran after a deer while they were taking a walk.
“I just envisaged her alone shivering out in the cold. It was awful” said teenager, Shannah Goetelen.
While many are happy that Neesha has been rescued and has found her way back to her owners, the question that has been lingering in the air is how she has managed to survive out there in the bitter cold of the mountains, especially for a whole fortnight.
“I just don’t know; perhaps, she was able to get some kind of shelter while in the forest,” said Shannah’s mother, Irena.
They further went on to admit that they had lost hope on ever seeing Neesha again before she was found by the couple of hikers.
Upon her arrival, they took her to the family vet who confirmed that the dog has lost a lot of weight while out away from home.
He also confirmed that she has developed dermatitis.
However, after having administered relevant medications, he said she should be back in shape in a short time.
Meanwhile, the Garda spokesperson, on closing his briefing, added that, to keep promoting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, they will by and large continue to employ a graduated policing response based on their code of conduct which is committed to handling cases on the grounds of consent.
This means Gardaí will always first engage, educate, encourage and only consider ‘enforcing’ as a last resort.