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Couple Who Rescued Missing Dog Reported To Police For Breaching Lockdown Rules

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Couple Who Rescued Missing Dog Reported To Police For Breaching Lockdown Rules

A couple of hikers, who rescued a missing dog while out on a walk, have been reported to the police for breaching lockdown rules, with Gardai making enquiries in relation to the lodge where the couple were staying.

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Ciara Nolan and Jean Francois Bonnet came across the golden retriever while out in the Wicklow Mountains along Ireland's east coast on 6 February.

They found Neesha close to the summit, with Jean picking her up and carrying her back down to safety.

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And after having been reported as missing two weeks earlier, Neesha has now been reunited with her owners.

Ciara captured footage of the rescue, with Jean posting it to his TikTok channel the following day.

Jean said: "She was near the summit, covered in snow, freezing cold, couldn't stand or bark, and covered in wounds on her legs."

She added: "We dressed her in our spare clothes and carried her down the mountain for about 10 kilometers."

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According to RTE News, Neesha was out walking with its owners and another family pet in the area when it ran off chasing a deer.

Despite them returning the next day to see if they could find her, there was no sign of Neesha anywhere, and it's a mystery how she managed to survive so long on her own.

Owner Irena said: "Maybe she got a bit of shelter in the forest, I just don't know."

Credit: Ciara Nolan via Storyful
Credit: Ciara Nolan via Storyful
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Ciara and Jean, who both work as doctors, had been staying at the Elbowroom Escape lodge in Donard when they went for their hike.

The Irish Independent reports that a member of the public contacted police in response to the viral video, questioning whether the couple - who are from Arklow, Co. Wicklow, around an hour's drive away from the lodge - were obeying Irish lockdown rules preventing people from going 5km from their house without a reasonable excuse.

Lisa Wilkinson, director of the Elbowroom Escape, told the same publication the lodge had operated as a mental health retreat for essential workers, and stopped offering the service as it 'ran out of funds to accommodate them as we were operating at a loss'.

She said: "We made ourselves available to several local hospitals several times during the pandemic to take essential workers who needed to isolate from families or other strategic reasons to assist in the running of the hospital. The Elbowroom Escape is closed to guests until travel restrictions are lifted."

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A force spokesman told Dublin Live: "Gardai in Wicklow are carrying out enquiries in relation to premises in the Donard area of Wicklow.

"The premises in question remain closed pending the outcome of the garda inquiry.

"The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force.

"In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

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"Where Gardai identify potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate."

Featured Image Credit: Ciara Nolan via Storyful

Topics: Police, covid, Ireland, missing, lockdown, Coronavirus, Dogs, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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