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.

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 


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.