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MONEY is being raised for a beloved 'miracle' dog who survived being hit by a train after escaping from her home.

Bull mastiff Coco ran away from a home in Tilehurst on December 12, where she was being looked after by her owner's mother, Sammy Robb.

As survival instinct kicked in, she lost her usual characteristics and continued to run, even as her name was called.

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Sammy had been looking after her son's dog when she took her outside and Coco suddenly jumped over the fence and bolted.

Sammy said: "She has never done anything like that before.

"I didn't know about a dog's survival instinct - they forget about their domestic life and turn feral, only thinking of shelter, food and staying safe.

"Coco ran right past us several times - we could touch her if she had stayed still."

Coco ran through Norcot Road and Victoria Road, and was also spotted in Calcot as the frantic search for the dog continued.

Sammy said: "I was told to call Highways England and National Rail to inform them and honestly wasn't sure if it would help much at first.

"When I was speaking with National Rail, they told me the news that a dog matching Coco's description had been struck by a train.

"I couldn't speak. When I calmed down, I asked what the likelihood of her survival was, and was told it was extremely unlikely that she would be alive."

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Following another desperate search, a member of the public eventually found Coco lying 'lifeless' by a railway track on Saturday, December 14.

Miraculously, Coco was alive.

Her owners are now hoping to raise money to fund Coco's recovery process, as well as raise awareness about what to do in similar situations.

"We actually did everything wrong when we all went out searching for her," said Sammy.

"I want to let others know about a dog's survival instinct and how they should immediately inform DogLost, an organisation that helped us hugely that relies purely on donations.

"Calling out their name makes them feel hunted and they run away even more.

"DogLost know about how to retrieve a dog when it's in survival mode and the right way of going about things.

"I am so grateful to them and all of the members of the public who have been so amazing.

"Coco is a miracle."

Coco has been left with severe injuries, including spinal and leg damage. She is currently under 24 hour care at the Fitzpatrick Practice, run by 'supervet' Noel Fitzpatrick.

The family need to raise around £13,000 in order to provide Coco with the treatment she needs.

Sammy said: "Initially I wasn't going to fundraise, but when I saw how much the bills were mounting, how much people really wanted to help and how much Coco deserves it, we decided to reach out.

"I want to thank the lady Sara, who found Coco.

"I also want people to be aware of DogLost and the amazing work they do.

"Lastly, I would like to say that the driver of the train did everything he could - we would never blame him.

"We have been in touch and he felt so much guilt as a dog owner himself - but we don't want him to carry any blame, it was just a horrible accident."

She added that Coco is in the best place she can be and that she now recognises her family again and has been excited when they come to visit her.

To donate to Coco's JustGiving page, click here.