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


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 


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


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.

Sham – A missing piece of their pawzle

In my my short time volunteering for DogLost, no family appeal has haunted me more than Sham’s. Caroline, Sham’s mama has an eloquence I could only wish for and her “letter to whoever has Sham” is a soul bearing testament to how much she loves her.

Sham lived with her family in Radcliffe, Manchester and was central to the family. She was always there for Caroline through her pregnancy, loving nothing more than sitting on her tummy and eating apple and was also the reason why her son laughed for the first time.

Family devoted Sham – Missing since 3rd June 2017

Sadly, 14 happy years together was brought to a painful and abrupt end when Sham managed to escape through the front door of her home on 3rd June 2017 after a visitor called to see the family.

They searched the area extensively for Sham but she was never found, she was never reported as found to the local dog warden and there were no dog-related traffic accidents reported – it’s like she walked out of the door that day and disappeared.

The family know that time isn’t on Sham’s side and if she is still alive, she’ll be a very old lady now, so if by some complete miracle you are reading this and know where Sham is or what happened to her, on behalf of the family I plead with you to get in touch. It’s only fair after the years of happiness and laughter she brought to her family, Sham is returned to her family in her golden years or the family are given some closure.

  • Sham’s breed: Jack Russell Terrier
  • Sham’s sex: Female
  • Date Sham went missing: 3rd June 2017
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Neutered/Spayed: Yes
  • Wearing ID/Collar: Yes
  • Distinguishing Marks: Sham was sadly deaf and partially sighted when she went missing


Izzy – A missing piece of their pawzle

Meet Izzy

There’s always that one dog, that one case that draws a person to DogLost and Izzy, an apricot Cockapoo is mine.

The day I heard about Izzy, I was working for a pet related Charity as their PR and Social Media Manager and I took a call from a lady called Dawn who wanted to try and raise the profile of her missing dog, Izzy. I promised, as we were local, to add her story to our social media platforms in the hope someone had found Izzy and didn’t realise that her family were out looking for her.

There was something in Dawn’s voice that day – fear mixed with what seemed like sheer panic.

Sadly nearly four years later, Izzy is still missing.

This is what we know of the day she went missing….

Izzy’s home in Radcliffe, Manchester was being renovated and sadly, a person working on the renovation left the front door open and Izzy escaped.

There have been no confirmed sightings since that day but her family have never given up and whilst the physical search has stopped, the online and social search continues – someone out there must have Izzy or at the very worst, know what happened to her.

Missing dog – Izzy
  • Izzy’s breed: Cockapoo
  • Izzy’s sex: Female
  • Date Izzy went missing: 16th February 2015
  • Microchipped: Yes
  • Neutered/Spayed: Yes
  • Wearing ID/Collar: Yes a pink one
  • Distinguishing Marks: Izzy has a light brown, almost pink nose

If you know what happened to Izzy on the day she went missing, please do let her family know or maybe you acquired a Cockapoo that looks like Izzy back in early 2015 and you think it might be her, you can easily check by having her scanned for a microchip.

Izzy’s Facebook page can be found here

Izzy’s mum and the young children in her family are still as devastated today as they were the day she disappeared so please help bring her home.

High paws and welcome

Hello and welcome to my first ever blog!

Monty and me..

I finally decided to give it a whirl following months of working with national organisation DogLost – a volunteer group of people who work to raise the profile of missing and stolen dogs and hopefully bring them home to their families.

I’ve had dogs all my life and in my adult years been a dog mama to rescue pup Roxie, who sadly passed a way in 2016 at grand old age of 15 and now to Monty (born 2013) and Busby (born 2018)

Working with DogLost and the families of missing or stolen dogs has been an emotional rollercoaster; no matter how much I sympathise with them, I will never truly understand the pain that they feel every day.

This blog is dedicated to those families still missing their piece of the pawzle and will attempt to raise their profile and tell their stories. I also hope to share some reunited stories with you, share hints and tips on keeping dogs safe and discuss the need for stronger punishment for anyone who steals a dog.

So please read on, share if you want to but if not, please just keep your eyes peeled for these missing dogs – we need to bring them home!