Irina Mudrova, who is head of the shelter, said: ‘Dik’s owners thought that he was dead after failing to wake him up.

‘Fortunately, they buried him not deep underground and he managed to get to the surface after regaining consciousness.

‘His owners, two elderly sisters, came to take him home and cried.

‘They were very grateful and donated 5,000 rubles (£60) to our shelter.’