POLICE swarmed on a South Derbyshire village after it was brought to a standstill – by a stray dog.
The springer spaniel, which was carrying an injury, had unwittingly wondered onto the Bailey Bridge in Walton on Trent, and with police concerned for both the safety of the animal and passing motorists, sealed off the bridge.
But what may at first glance have seemed like a problem that would be quickly sorted, it was more than an hour before traffic was allowed to pass over the bridge again, with officers struggling to lure the dog from under a van, while awaiting the arrival of a warden to take it away.
The incident, which happened at around 5pm on Wednesday, was the talk of the village, with the police’s presence in the area sparking fears there was something much more serious going on.
A member of staff at the White Swan pub, in Main Street, who asked not to be named, said: “There was police everywhere and cars were being made to turn around.
“No-one seemed to know what was going on.”
Rumours began to circulate on social network sites of a major incident in the sleepy village due to the length of time officers were at the scene.
Derbyshire Police put the delay down to the fact that officers don’t deal with dogs, instead having to wait for a warden to arrive.
And with the dog refusing to budge on the bridge, motorists on either side were made to sit and wait.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “A dog had walked into traffic on the bridge. It was limping, we weren’t sure if it was an old injury or if it had been hit by a car.
“We needed to contact the dog warden and it was a while before we could find someone to take it.
“Staffordshire Police was on the scene directing traffic as the dog had ended up stuck under a van.”
The bridge was finally reopened at 6.20pm after the dog was collected by the warden.
It was the second time in a matter of weeks that the bridge had to be sealed off after traffic was halted when a distressed woman decided to lie in the middle of the road.