Amo – A missing piece of their pawzle

Amo, an English Springer Spaniel, was the last of five puppies to be born in her litter and was unable to breathe on her own. It took 45 minutes of rubbing her with a towel to get the blood flowing so she could breathe independently, so it’s no wonder that Amo and her owner (or mum) Bibby have developed a irreplaceable and unbreakable bond.

Bibby with Amo the puppy

On 15th September 2018, Amo joined Bibby’s mum at The Midland Game Fair in Telford whilst Bibby was away on holiday. The family were exhibiting at the event and Amo was behind the stand with the family’s other dog. 

Bibby’s mum always stayed behind the stand, and looked after the dogs however three of the staff went on their lunch break at the same time and the stand got very busy so she had their to leave the dogs alone tied up behind the stand while she helped out.

What happened to Amo in those a few minutes is unknown; whether  she slipped her lead or someone detached her from it and snatched her. However what is known, when Bibby’s mum returned to check on her, she’d disappeared.

But Bibby insists that with the character Amo has, if she did come loose herself, she would have come onto the stand to show everyone that she has escaped, and she would have hoped for attention and a cuddle.

Bibby says “The Midlands Game Fair is a very busy event and somebody could have easily picked her up if she was wondering, but I don’t understand how absolutely nobody on that Saturday saw anything. Nobody has come forward and said that they saw somebody putting a lead onto a loose dog, and therefore I think she was taken from behind the stand directly. Somebody was watching mum’s movements, and jumped at the chance when mum disappeared for just those few minutes.”

Bibby’s unwaveringly love for Amo is evident in the lengths she’s gone to to find her beautiful girl.

Amo enjoying walkies

She has paid for Amo’s posters to go in service stations, pubs, clubs, bars and on train lines. She has waited outside locations where she is thought to be and has done door to door postering of Amo’s leaflets in different locations around the country in different cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.

She has emailed over 1000 vets in the country with Amo’s information and I has also contacted the majority of  food, game, country, agricultural and craft fairs that are happening over 2019,  asking to attend to hand out leaflets about Amo. 

She has also contacted all major radio and T.V stations and appeared on Countryfile and BBC Bristol.

Amo loved to go everywhere with Bibby

Bibby has also turned to social media to share Amo’s story with those she still hasn’t reached.

Speaking of the impact Amo’s theft has had on her, Bibby says “The theft of Amo has completely broken my heart, she is the light in every bit of darkness of my life, and somebody has taken that from me. It’s been almost 23 weeks since I’ve called her name, or seen her to have a cuddle, and it breaks my heart every single day. I have driven over 7,000 miles over the country in search for Amo and continue to do so. Every morning she is the first thing I think about, and every night she is the last thing on my mind. I have her toy next to my bed, and I take it with me on all the trips on the road. 

I don’t think the person who has done this understands the effect that they have on the individual owners and on the families. I cannot do this without my Amo, the unknown is soul-shattering, and if the thief understood the pain they caused, I don’t think they would be able to live with themselves, but it’s impersonal to them, and that’s why they do it.”

And speaking directly to the person who can help reunite Bibby with Amo she says “If you have Amo, or know where she is, I hope you realise that you are breaking a family apart. The reward we are offering is more than you would ever get by holding on to her, whether you keep her for months or years, I will pay you more in cash than you’ll ever get from keeping her, if she’s returned safely to me”

Amo was 16 months old when she was stolen and is now 21 months. She has a ¾ docked tail and a white body and legs with liver speckles running down her back and all four legs. 

She has liver ears, and a white line that runs down between her eyes to the right side of her snout. The whole of the left side of her snout is liver, and there is an oval spot of liver on top of her head. The right side of her snout is white with just a few liver speckles.

Despite being confident around Bibby and her family, Amo has a very soft and nervous side. She squeals around bigger dogs, and doesn’t like other dogs coming too close to her too quickly. 

Amo is very gentle and can be extremely nervous around people she doesn’t know

Amo is microchipped and spayed.

If anyone has any information regarding Amo’s disappearance, please contact DogLost directly on 0844 800 3220 quoting reference number 134486.

http://www.doglost.co.uk/dog-blog.php?dogId=134486

When volunteering takes over!

When I started looking for a volunteering opportunity, I knew it would have to be with animals but having recently become a mum to a human (opposed to my ‘first born’ Monty the Cockapoo) and working full time, I knew that it would likely need to be something that I could do from home – until my daughter is a little older.

We all have our favourite causes; whether that’s a cause that has touched us personally or something that has impacted a family member or friend. For me, it’s always been about the animals, ever since I was little – my great grandma was convinced I was going to be a vet – so it was the first place I looked when deciding who to approach.

DogLost offered the chance for me to put my intermediate PR background to good use and help one of my favourite animals.

I don’t really have a lot of spare time (who does these days?) so it was important that I found somewhere that I could do what I could but not feel overwhelmed and take on too much….. well that was my mantra initially but what I have learnt in these past six months is, if you are passionate about a cause and you really want to make a difference, you will get sucked into the volunteering ‘black hole’ – a place that seems to rid you of the ability to say “no”

DogLost posters for the Odeon Awareness campaign

I no longer casually swipe through Twitter to see what’s happening in the news or to get an update on what’s happening in one of my favourite dramas – I am now searching on hashtags for potential “ins” to help the families who are living with the daily agonising pain of a missing pet and try to give them the awareness that I feel they deserve.

My Facebook feed is very similar; full of photos of dogs and desperate family appeals for help to bring their dog home or even worse, links to selling websites where dogs are being sold for £10 or offered free to a good home (do these people know what the potential dangers out there are for these poor animals?)

For a dog-lover this can be soul-destroying and I have to admit that I have had a wobble or several and considered retreating back into my old world, where family pets are loved and curled up at their owners feet. Then I remember the families I’ve met so far and maybe if I can help just one family then it’ll all be worth it.

My main frustration is getting someone to listen and have an empathy for these stories but sadly in a world of “who wore what best” or “who is now dating who” I find myself, head on the kitchen top at home wondering what these families need to do to get even a hundredth of that exposure.

Missing and stolen dog posters on kitchen table
Missing and stolen dog posters for The Light Cinema Awareness weekend

And it’s not just my waking hours that are now filled with looking for media opportunities, I recently woke from a dream where I was pitching the idea of a TV show to Simon Cowell (okay I get that – best known for judging people, hit TV shows, being an animal lover and of course those crazy high trousers) but more bizarrely my high school English teacher and my grandma were on the panel too! I think it’s safe to say, I’m well and truly down the rabbit hole… At least I wasn’t presenting naked!

I’ve also found myself crying after exchanging emails with some of these families – especially those with young children or those that treat their dog much like I treat mine – another member of the family. So yes I am invested in these stories and yes I may be too emotionally involved but empathy is good, right? As long as I don’t lose sight of why I am doing this or the fact that I can’t just magic these families back together (if only that was the case)

So I apologise to those that I take my frustrations out on and I will try to teach myself that not everyone is going to get it, not everyone is going to share appeals and not everyone is a dog-lover.

I am going to do my best to help the ones that I can and hope beyond hope, that one day someone sees one of the articles written and recognises one of the dogs I am totally invested in and they do right thing and put these families out of their anguish and reunite them with their missing fur-family member.

And just in case you stumble across this and you have any contacts in the media, please do message me below.

Albi – A missing piece of their pawzle

Albi, a young Jack Russell cross from Whitfield, Kent may be small in size but he has left a enormous hole in his family’s life following his disappearance on 5th October 2018 whilst out on his usual walk.

Missing Terrier cross Albi

Albi, the family’s other dog and their dad Carl went out for their normal early morning walk in local fields, a walk they’d done numerous times before when out of nowhere a large German Shepherd ran at Albi, spooked him and he ran off and unfortunately only the German Shepherd returned.

That was sadly the last time Albi was seen by his owners.

Whilst there were potential sighting of Albi in the first few days, there have been no reported sightings since.

The family followed recommended scenting advice from DogLost but this didn’t result in Albi returning to the place he was last seen. They even brought in a K9 tracker and the beagle did track a scent along a coastal road and down to a disused railway line but after the bad weather the scent disappeared.

The family and police share the same belief; Albi has likely found and kept. Maybe because, after days of trying to make his own way home he looked underweight and unloved, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sharon says “I can’t describe in words the hell we are going through, we are literally broken. None of us have had a full nights sleep since that day and Albi is on my mind 24/7. I’ve slept downstairs near the front door, just in case he finds his way back to us and scratches on the door. Our lives are on permanent hold – we’ve held off on our house exchange and cancelled holidays as all we want is him home. Nothing else matters.”

Describing Albi, Sharon says “He’s an energetic and extremely loving little boy who loves long walks and running around with his ‘brother’ in the fields. At 9pm he’s ready for a sleep and will climb on me for a cuddle and falls asleep, snoring loudly. I miss him following me to the bathroom and sitting on my feet while I brush my teeth or seeing his wet nose pressed up against the shower screen, waiting for me to get out.”

Albi is a loving little boy who needs to be home with his mum, Sharon

To the person that may have Albi or knows what happened to him, the message is clear. “If you have him, don’t think we don’t love him because we do, don’t think he is unwanted because that’s absolutely not the case. Please do the right thing and end our suffering, bring him home, take him to any vets, call the dog warden or DogLost – whatever it takes to bring him back to me or if you know what happened to him, please tell us as the not knowing is excruciating”

Albi is microchipped and neutered so he can’t be used for breeding.

  • Albi’s breed: Terrier cross Poodle
  • Albi’s sex: Male
  • Date Albi went missing: 5th October 2018
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Neutered/Spayed: Yes
  • Wearing ID/Collar: Yes

Albi’s Facebook page can be found here

If anyone has any information on Albi, then please call DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 135260

http://www.doglost.co.uk/dog-blog.php?dogId=135260

Willow – A missing piece of their pawzle

Freya Woodhall’s “shadow” Willow, a young female Sprocker was just that. Always at her heal, never strayed and always looked for “mum” on walks but sadly on Monday 17th September 2018, that all changed. 

Willow and her Romanian rescue fur-sister were enjoying time in their own back garden in Homer, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, a place that should have been safe, but that morning Willow disappeared and her sister was found in the family’s front garden.

What happened to Willow on that morning still remains a mystery but what the family is 100% confident of, is Willow did not just escape and run off.

Within the first hour of Willow’s disappearance, neighbours and friends were out looking for her and all local farmers were informed and by mid afternoon half of the village had joined the search. When Willow hadn’t returned or been found by early evening, Freya reported Willow missing.

The family followed recommendations from DogLost to hang unwashed clothing out, put the contents of their hoover out and they cooked sausages on a BBQ for over two weeks but none of it brought Willow home, further emphasising their belief that someone has Willow.

Since those initial few days, there have been no reports of dog-related traffic accidents and the local dog warden has never collected Willow.  The family and local community have left no stone unturned and no place unchecked; therefore the only conclusion that can be reached is that Willow was either taken from her own garden or has been found and kept (theft by finding). This conclusion is also shared by West Mercia Police who have now classed her as stolen. 

Willow, stolen Spocker with mum Freya

Whilst Freya tries to remain strong, privately it’s like the sun has been stolen from her life “Willow was my shadow, my buddy, she went everywhere with me and I am lost without her. She’s never far from my thoughts and I feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness” 

It may be that the person that now has Willow acquired her from someone else. They may have bought Willow without knowing that she was stolen and they may now love Willow as their own but the family is asking anyone who did purchase a young female chocolate brown Sprocker, that looks like Willow since September, to take her to any local vet and have her scanned. 

Willow is microchipped and is also spayed so she can’t be used for breeding. 

“I will never give up searching for Willow, she’s part of this family and should be home with us. There have been recent cases of dogs being reunited with their loving owners after three or even six years so I hold on to that every day. Obviously, I would give anything for us to get that call tomorrow so that we don’t have to endure any more heartache but we will not give up”

  • Willow’s breed: Sprocker
  • Willow’s sex: Female
  • Date Willow went missing: 17th September 2018
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Neutered/Spayed: Yes
  • Wearing ID/Collar: Yes

Willow’s Facebook page can be found here

If anyone has any information on Willow, then please call DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 134537

http://www.doglost.co.uk/dog-blog.php?dogId=134537

Tilly – A missing piece of their pawzle

I’m still to meet a dog owner (or dog mama/papa) who doesn’t like a blast of fresh air and a good weekend walk with their favourite four-legged pal and Victoria Calcutt and her precious Tilly the Tibetan Terrier were no exception. 

On the 15th September 2018, Tilly and her family did what they love to do; grabbed the lead, Victoria pulled on her walking shoes and they headed out for their usual walkies near their home in Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire. Neither expected this to be their last walk together, neither expected this to be their last day together.  Whilst in the fields at the back of her home, Tilly was approached by eight loose dogs, one of which rolled her over which spooked her and she ran. 

Tilly loves nothing more than wackies with her family

Tilly ran onto a main road which runs adjacent to the field and drivers did try to catch her but she disappeared and was next seen 3.5 miles away in North Leigh.

Sadly, from this point on there have been no more sightings and despite months of extensive searching and a very active social media campaign to find Tilly, there have been no further confirmed sightings. It’s now believed that Tilly could have been found and kept – maybe not knowing that her family are looking for her or maybe in a bid to sell her.

I’ve been in regular contact with Victoria and I get a true sense that Tilly isn’t “just a dog”, she is a massive part of the family and the devastation and heartbreak is palpable. 

There have been no reported accidents involving a dog and whilst there are muntjacs in the area, Tilly’s body has never been found despite daily searches.

Tilly is spayed and her microchip which has been updated to show that she is missing. The family have also reported her disappearance and potential theft to the Thames Valley Police who have been very supportive.

Victoria and Tilly
  • Tilly’s breed: Tibetan Terrier
  • Tilly’s sex: Female
  • Date Tilly went missing: 15th September 2018
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Neutered/Spayed: Yes
  • Wearing ID/Collar: Yes
  • Distinguishing Marks: Tilly has a small scar on her tummy.

The family understand that someone may have found Tilly and believed that she was unwanted or a stray and kept her or maybe someone bought her from someone not knowing the true story; however, Tilly isn’t unwanted and is not a stray. Tilly is very much missed by all of the family and they need her back home where she belongs. 

Tilly’s Facebook page can be found here

If anyone has any information on Tilly, then please call DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 134463 

http://www.doglost.co.uk/dog-blog.php?dogId=134463

Lily – A missing piece of their pawzle

As responsible dog owners, we all do our very best to protect our four-legged family members and we never put them intentially in harms way. Personally, I’ve always assumed that the safest place for my two, is with me, in our home and in their (yes their!) secure back garden but sadly even our own homes and gardens are no longer safe from people that prey on our pets.

On the 25th March 2017, gorgeous Lily, a seven year old Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel and her male pup were doing what they did most mornings; enjoying a bit of a sniff around their own back garden in Stratford Upon Avon. There was nothing unusual about that day and nothing alerted Lily or her owners to any danger.

Lily – Stolen Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel

When it was time to come in, Lily’s owner went out to get them only to find the puppy was still in the garden but Lily was missing. Immediately, they knew something was wrong as the puppy followed Lily everywhere.

Initially there wasn’t too much panic as who would steal a dog from an owners back garden? In fact that thought never crossed their minds but following a search of the local area, including the towpath and the recycling centre the scary realisation set in, Lily didn’t just manage to escape somehow. Someone must have been in the garden and stolen her.

Following a call to the Warwickshire Police, it transpired that a week earlier another Cocker Spaniel also went missing from her enclosed garden. Similarly, the female Cocker Spaniel was in a garden with her (male) pup and the female was stolen whilst the pup was left.

  • Lily’s breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Lily’s sex: Female
  • Date Lily went missing: 25th March 2017
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Neutered/Spayed: No, due to just having her pups.
  • Wearing ID/Collar: Yes

Since Lily’s theft, the family have proactively searched for her and followed up on every possible lead, some times crossing the country to rule out similarly marked Cocker Spaniels. Unfortunately, their tireless searching hasn’t had the happy ending we are all hoping for. The family still don’t know what happened to their beloved Lily and they haven’t been able to bring her home.

So, if you know what happened to Lily or know where she is, information can be given directly to Warwickshire Police or DogLost can be called on 0844 800 3220, quoting reference number 113086. It’s time to bring Lily home.

Lily’s Facebook page can be found here

http://www.doglost.co.uk/dog-blog.php?dogId=113086

The ‘reporting’ dilemma …

Sadly the number of reunited stories I come across are far outweighed by the number of dogs registered lost or stolen on the DogLost website every day so when I’m told that a dog has been reunited with owners, especially 4 years later, it is a lovely feeling.

Depending on how the dog was found, the chances are we will never know what happened between the date they were registered as lost/stolen and the day that they are found and reunited with their family but I was interested to read some of the replies to a recent reunited post on Twitter.

Whilst the majority of the responses were welcoming ‘Bob’ home, there were a few suggesting that whoever had had “Bob” might be missing him as he’d clearly been looked after and it would be nice to reunite them, which I was quite surprised to read.

To be fair, the majority of reunited cases I’ve been informed of don’t involve dogs that have been well looked after, sadly the stories I receive, the dogs have most likely been used to over-breed from.

So it made me think whether it’s widely known that it is actually a legal requirement to report a found or loose dog to a local Dog Warden and if you don’t have one, then your local council will let you know what the correct procedure is.

Whilst I understand that the finder might be worried that reporting a dog might result in the dog being taken into the local ‘dog pound’ and potentially put to sleep, it’s important to consider the following.

  • The dog might be lost and the family are desperately searching for them.
  • The dog might have been stolen and either escaped or been dumped and again there might me a family searching for them.
  • The only safe way to reunite a dog with the real owners, is to check for a microchip. I’ve seen so many cases of people trying to do the right thing and they ‘advertise’ a found dog on social media, sadly opening themselves up to opportunists who will claim the dog as theirs when in fact it isn’t.
  • If you find a dog and it doesn’t have a microchip you are allowed to request to look after the dog instead of it being taken. The holding period in these cases is 28 days. I believe that under the 28 day rule an owner can come forward at anytime to reclaim the dog, even years down the line.
  • If you find a dog and it is taken to be held for the statutory 7 days, then there are “pound pulling” rescues like Pawprints Dog Rescue in Rugby who work with local holdings kennels and ensure they are collected on day 8 and placed in to safe rescue/rehoming kennels. However, not all operate this way so it’s always worth asking the dog warden what will happen if the dog isn’t claimed.

You can also take the dog to any veterinary practice and ask them to scan for a chip. They will report a found chip to the relevant microchip company and you may be part of an amazing reunited story, if no chip is found they will know the correct process for reporting the dog.

The reason for this blog is because I find myself worrying about what would happen if one of my little guys managed to get out (goodness forbid), was found and the person thought he was a stray and kept him; it really doesn’t bear thinking about and that’s why ensuring a dog is scanned by either a dog warden or a vet must be a finders first step.