RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes was filmed hauling the terrified animals from the quagmire, fearing one slip could leave him trapped in the gooey morass.
Millions of television viewers have followed the fearless efforts of the RSPCA's frontline officer as he saves pets from all manner of dangerous predicaments in Channel 5’s popular primetime show, The Dog Rescuers.
Last week, Inspector Joynes was filmed in tears after trying to help a dog stoned to near death by African villagers who feared the animal was infected with rabies.
Back on his home beat in north west England, the recent warm weather had created a potential death trap by drying out a farm pond, leaving the bottom with a thin crust covering the mud and which quickly cracked under the animals’ hooves.
Luckily, a walker in Altrincham, Cheshire, just about made out the shape of the sheep languishing in the mire and raised the alarm.
Inspector Joynes said: “When I first got there I struggled to make out where the lamb and the ewe were as they were covered in mud.
“The sheep were very difficult to spot so it was just fortunate this member of the public saw some movement and went to investigate. They could have easily died if they were left much longer.
“The area was a pond but, because of the hot weather, half of it had dried up and had formed a crust on top but underneath it was thick mud.
RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes was filmed hauling the terrified animals from the quagmire (Image: NC)
Television's intrepid Dog Rescuer has pulled off one of his trickiest ever missions (Image: NC)
The inspector managed to get a firm grip on the sheep and heaved them both to safety (Image: NC)
“They were probably walking along thinking they were on hard ground when they just fell through.”
Teetering on the edge of the hard ground, the inspector managed to get a firm grip on the sheep, their fleeces made all the heavier by the glutinous mud, and heaved them both to safety.
After a few moments massaging the ewe’s legs, she was able to walk off but the exhausted lamb was taken back to the farm, washed down and left to rest in a stable.
Inspector Joynes said: “I was going to call the fire service for help but realised I could reach the animals safely and was worried if they were left much longer they would not make it.
“Afterwards, I was covered head to toe in stinking mud.
"I smelt like a farm animal myself and had to throw the uniform away.
“My back was really hurting, too, but it was well worth it as it is always nice to save animals.
"The farmer later contacted me to say the lamb is doing well.”
If you see an animal you have concerns about, please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.