A WOMAN rescued a drowning dog from a canal after coming across the struggling canine while jogging.

The woman was jogging at the side of the Manchester, Bolton And Bury Canal close to the Mount Sion Steam Crane, in an area between Little Lever and Radcliffe, when she made the discovery on Wednesday.

As she got closer she then saw a small dog terrified and struggling in the water, lying down on the side of the canal to rescue the elderly female Jack Russell.

She shouted to a nearby man carrying a red lead with a collar still attached who at first said he knew the dog - then said he didn’t and appeared confused.

The woman, who does not want to be named, said: “I said to him ‘is this your dog?’ He initially said ‘yes Nelly come here’ but the dog was terrified and shaking.

“As she was so frightened I then said ‘shall I take her and look after her’ and then he said he didn’t know whose dog it was.

“Then two males came past and stopped to ask me if everything was alright and as I was telling them what happened, the man walked off saying he didn’t know the dog.

“She was so cold - luckily I was wearing a hoodie so I wrapped her in it and took her home.

“The man seemed confused and vulnerable - so I am not sure what happened but I was concerned for both the dog and the man.”

The woman reported the incident, which happened at about 5.45pm on Wednesday, to the RSPCA.

Inspector Demi Hodby was sent to the woman’s address to collect the dog, who was rushed to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where she was found to have a tumour on her stomach.

It is thought that it is not too serious and she will undergo an operation to remove it once she is more settled.

Demi is now appealing for information to find out what happened and is hoping someone may recognise who the dog belonged to and is keen to talk to the man seen near the canal carrying a dog lead.

She said: “It is really concerning that this poor dog was found to be drowning in the canal and it is just fortunate that this heroic woman saw what was happening and managed to rescue her.

“At this stage we can’t really speculate as to what has happened and the man seen nearby may be able to help with my enquiries. There could be an innocent explanation.”

The man seen nearby is described as white, aged around 60, he was about 5 ft 6, with brown/grey hair.

He was wearing two odd shoes with no laces, a white collared shirt which was worn back to front and was wearing jeans.

Anyone with information should call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.