Stroud District Council’s Animal Welfare Service and a Gloucestershire Constabulary officer have helped reunite an elderly lost dog with her delighted owners who feared they might never see her again.
Jack Russell Terrier Dora escaped from her owner’s garden in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, on Monday 8 February after the gate was accidentally left open.
Sarah Lamplough, Dora’s owner said: “It was so upsetting when Dora went missing, she’s like one of the family. We posted her details on local Facebook pages and so many people offered to join the search for her. Dora has a heart condition and needs medications, so after a couple of days we assumed that we wouldn’t find her alive.”
Four days after Dora disappeared, on 12 February, Stroud District Council’s Animal Welfare officers were involved in a joint operation with Gloucestershire Police and the RSPCA (England & Wales) which resulted in a number of poorly and potentially stolen dogs being recovered near Gloucester.
One of the poorly dogs was an elderly Jack Russell Terrier which was taken to
Teckels Animal Sanctuaries in Whitminster, which houses stray dogs on behalf of the council. When the dog was admitted to the shelter, staff raised concerns about the terrier’s health and arranged an examination. A heart condition was diagnosed, and medication prescribed.
As part of the efforts to reunite the dogs with their owners, PC Debbie Shields of Gloucestershire Police who was present when the dogs were seized, suspected that the elderly terrier was Dora.
Subsequent checks including Dora’s microchip number confirmed that was the case, and Dora was reunited with her delighted owner on Tuesday 23 February.
Sarah Lamplough said: “It was absolutely amazing to get her back; we were over the moon. Thank you to everyone involved - from the local people who went out looking for her, to the officers who got her back, and the shelter that looked after her. It’s a wonderful ending.”
Detective Superintendent Steve Bean said: “This is such a heart-warming outcome and a testament to the commitment of the those involved, particularly our officer.
“We know and understand the pain of losing a pet and very often our officers will go above and beyond like this to get a result. In her own time Debbie joined as many lost dog groups on social media as she could to try and find Dora and when her face popped up she knew it was her straight away.
“Debbie feels it was fate that she was there to help rescue the dog on that day but it is really down to good police work, dedication and caring passionately about serving the public.
“Thanks to Debbie and our partners for taking care of Dora and making sure there’s a happy ending.
“It’s all part of our compassionate approach to policing, which is one of the priorities of our Police and Crime Plan and something our Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner feel very strongly about.”
Alex Myrie, Animal Welfare Service, Stroud District Council
said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have played a part in reuniting Dora with her family.
“Although Dora was microchipped, her details weren’t up to date, despite the owner’s effort to get them updated when she went missing.
"We can’t stress how vital it is to keep microchip details up to date and we would encourage all pet owners to take this opportunity to check with their chip companies that their details are correctly recorded. It really can be the difference in reuniting owners with their missing, much loved, pets.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said: “What a great result. Anyone with a pet will understand what Dora’s owners were going through and the joy when they were re-united so well done Debbie for going the extra mile. It’s a perfect example of what ‘A Compassionate Approach’ is all about”.
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said:"Because of Debbie’s efforts a family were reunited with their pet after what must have been a very anxious time for them. The Constabulary is determined to lead by example and to show that for us, animals are more than objects or property. I understand that in her own time Debbie searched social media to look for details of lost dogs and as a result of this she recognised Dora straightaway. Thank you Debbie for all you did and for making one family, and I’m sure one dog, very happy. Well done".