Even if a dog is completely stuck, experience has shown that it will usually free itself after a day or two without food and a little bit of weight loss. A rescue should usually only be considered after 48 hours if the dog has not emerged in that time, unless the dog is young, elderly, or ill for example. Dogs can survive below ground for several days without food, although a lack of water will become more of a problem after 48 hours.
The dog may be enticed out of the sett with some strong smelling food. If you are convinced that the animal is stuck in the badger sett and cannot get out without assistance, then we suggest you contact our 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999 to report the incident.
Badger baiters often use the excuse of a dog being stuck in a badger sett as a reason for digging a sett. However, even if a dog owner legitimately wants a sett excavated to rescue a dog, the best course may be to take no action.
Please note that interfering with a sett in any way may only be done with a specific licence from Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). The licence must be obtained before digging starts.
Remember - most dogs will emerge on their own after 24 hours when they become hungry and thirsty. Badgers are more likely to be stressed by attempts to remove a dog than by its presence. Excavating a sett would also destroy it for future use.
It is an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 to intentionally cause a dog to enter a badger sett, or to recklessly allow a dog to enter a sett [Badger Act 1992 - Section 3(d)].