Rio, a handsome English Pointer was six years old when he was presumed stolen whilst out for a walk with his other doggie friends during a holiday in Norfolk. The family regularly visit Winteron-on-Sea as it’s very dog friendly and there are lots of long walks in the area. On Sunday 25th March 2018, the family did their usual walk with nothing out of the ordinary happening. As they got back to the carpark, all the dogs went off on their usual final run together over the dunes – but Rio didn’t return.
In the first couple of days, Rio’s owners thought that he had somehow been separated from the other dogs and got lost so the family followed proved and tested ways of trying to entice Rio out of hiding – cooking sausages and leaving unwashed clothes at their last spot together but sadly, this didn’t work.
Following extensive foot and drone searches plus a large local poster campaign it was soon apparent that something more sinister might have happened to Rio.
Given how well trodden the area is, the family is confident that Rio didn’t have an accident on that day and die of his injuries, especially given his size and the extent of the searching; they feel there is a much better chance that Rio was spotted and picked up either as a direct theft or that someone presumed he was a stray and kept him – theft by finding.
What makes this story even more heart-breaking is that Rio had had an extremely horrible start to life, but he had finally found a family to love him and then he was gone.
Rio is a Spanish rescue dog and came from a hunting background. He was discarded because he is frightened of loud noises like gunshots. There were many other signs of abuse when the family took him in; burns on his rump, presumed to be cigarette burns and he ducked if a hand was lifted to stroke him.
Lynda, Rio’s mum said “If you raised your voice he would sink to the floor in submission but he’d made tremendous strides with his family and was becoming a happy dog.
He always loved other dogs but was fearful of people, men especially but with lots of interaction with kind gentle, men he was learning to trust again.
Rio is a gentle soul and never growled and the family only heard him bark occasionally. Pointers are often referred to as “Velcro” dogs and he certainly was”
Lyn also says “He is my dog, but everyone loved him. It has been very hard and in the first few weeks, I hardly ate or slept. Many tears have been shed, prayers said and sometimes I feel so low I don’t know what to do with myself.
There are moments of hope when my spirits rise, but there are great lows too. I just can’t stop thinking about him, and where he is and what he might be doing.
It has been one of the hardest times in my life I suppose the not knowing is the hardest thing, I can’t grieve properly because there is always that little hope he will turn up one day.
Heartbreaking doesn’t come near, life will never be the same again. My whole world was turned upside down and the sinking feeling that every dog owner knows, when their dog goes missing just has never gone away”
Rio is microchipped and neutered and has very distinctive “two dot” markings on his head.
If you have any information on Rio, please call DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 127089