Five dogs are stolen every day in the UK
Earlier this month new figures were released on the number of dogs stolen and reported missing in the UK.
Every day five dogs are taken and this number has risen each year for the last four years according to the data from Direct Line.
Last year, 1959 dogs were reported as stolen with Staffies being the most vulnerable - 71 were taken last year compared to 53 in 2017.
The heartache this brings is every owner’s worst nightmare and it’s why we’ve teamed up with doglost.co.uk to try to help those whose dogs are missing.
This month we’re sharing the stories of Isla, Harper and Rossi.
Isla is a four-year-old German Shepherd from Gailey in Staffordshire and went missing in October 2018.
Her owner Paula had been out at a concert and her daughter Grace had been caring for Isla and their other dog Izzy.
A takeaway driver had been to the house and left the gate open after dropping off a food delivery. When the dogs went out to the loo shortly after 11pm, they escaped.
Paula said: “When we arrived home at 11:20pm, we noticed that the gate was open and Isla and Izzy weren’t there to welcome us.
“The gate was open and panic set in. We started searching and calling for the girls but the weather was horrendous that night with very strong winds and heavy rain.
“I knew they wouldn’t be able to hear us. We searched until 2am then reluctantly had to return home without them, then began searching again at 6am.”
People responded to posts on social media with sightings of the dogs, and Izzy was found at 11am the next morning but there was no sign of Isla.
The family notified the Highways Agency, Network Rail and the Canals and River Trust but have heard no news of Isla and fear she a victim of theft by finding.
Izzy pined desperately for Isla and, heartbreakingly, was diagnosed with cancer and had to be put to sleep. The family and their local community continue to hunt for Isla.
Isla with Izzy and her family
There have been two possible sightings of Isla
One was on May 14th and one on May 18th close to the High Onn canal, and between Slab Lane and Little Onn, and also on Broad Lane, Church Eaton.
Paula said: “We’re devastated that Isla is still missing and losing Izzy as well has been unbearable. No-one has come forward to say it was their dog so we have a little hope.
“Isla is such a massive part of our family and we all are suffering so much without her.”
“Please if you have her or have any information, please think of me and my family and let us know where she is – no questions will be asked, we just want her back home”
Isla is spayed and microchipped and her chip has been updated to lost/stolen. She was wearing a red collar with beige bones on it on the night she disappeared and you can visit the Facebook Group Find Isla here.
If anyone has any information relating to Isla’s case or knows where she is, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220, quoting dog ID 135622 or view Isla's profile online here.
Harper is a nine-month-old golden Cocker Spaniel and went missing from her home on March 28th 2019.
Her owners James Howatson and Fiona Anderson live on a farm in Lanark, Scotland and had let her out at 8pm to go to the loo.
When they called her in moments later, she’d vanished. They searched the whole farm on foot and on their motorbikes and couldn’t see her.
The frantic couple were told by a neighbour a white van had been hanging around just before she went missing. They have put up a reward of £6,000.
Fiona said: “He’d seen it at end of our property at roughly the same time she went out and a plumber also saw a white van 15 minutes before we let her out.
“It all made sense, Harper wouldn’t just run and even if she did – she wouldn’t have managed to get far in the time. I absolutely believe that she was picked up and stolen.”
Harper and owner Fiona
Sadly, the registration plate has never been seen
James and Fiona stayed up all night searching then told the police but as they didn’t have a registration number, they couldn’t report it as a suspected theft.
They started a social media campaign to make Harper ‘too hot to handle,’ put posters all around the area and visited every shop, pub and home that had CCTV - one caught the van leaving but not the registration plate.
The couple are convinced Harper was stolen and her microchip has a lost/stolen alert. Earlier that day a man was seen trying to pick up dogs on walks just 600 yards from their farm.
Fiona said: “There is an empty hole there that can’t be filled until Harper returns. It literally feels like my soul has been destroyed.”
“We miss her so much. Even everyday things like cleaning are so painful as Harper would normally follow me around the house making a mess behind me.
“I just want to say to anyone who has her, please just bring her back, there will be questions raised about how you came across her.
“If you can bring her back to us, safe and unharmed there is a finder’s fee of £6,000. We need her home as it is destroying our lives.”
DogLost urge people to be vigilant across the UK and if you spot a dog that looks very similar to Harper and has recently been re-homed in your area to contact her owners.
If anyone has any information relating to Harper’s case or knows where she is, contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220, quoting dog ID 142011 or visit her Doglost profile online here.
Rossi is a young, female Labrador Retriever cross who went missing after slipping into a river on 24th February 2019.
Rossi was out walking at the Hermitage National Trust property in Dunkeld, Perthshire with her owner Marie Anderson when she fell into the River Braan.
Marie tried to follow her via the paths but lost view of Rossi, but did find scramble marks which she believes were from her but fears she bolted in a panic.
Marie said: “It gives us hope that she did get out. Rossi is the friendliest dog you could meet and loves people and other dogs.
“All our family is heartbroken at the thought of Rossi being out there by herself, or worse, having been picked up by someone who hasn’t thought to hand her in to the authorities.
“Rossi is a beautiful dog with a beautiful heart and is deeply missed by us all. Our collie, Dave, is very upset and depressed without her.”
Rossi and owner Marie
Drones, Kayakers and Abseilers have searched for Rossi
Marie has had help from kayakers who searched the river, drones and abseilers, and put posters all over the area, set up cameras and put out clothes with her scent on.
There have been sightings of a dog matching her description looking ‘out of sorts and very scared,' and no-one has come forward to say it was their dog.
Rossi was wearing a purple collar and name tag and has two microchips (one was faulty) and is registered as lost/stolen.
Marie said: “If anyone knows anything at all, please, please contact us or someone involved in the search for Rossi.
“If you’ve seen someone bring home a beautiful Labrador matching Rossi in strange, sudden circumstances, all information will be treated in confidence.
“All we want is our girl back home where she belongs.”
To support Rossi’s family and for updates, visit the Find Rossi Facebook page.
If anyone has any information relating to Rossi’s case or knows where she is, please do contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220, quoting dog ID 140836 or visit her profile online here.
Thank you for reading
If you live near where any of these dogs went missing, please tell people you know.
It would be amazing if you could share their stories as the more people who see them, the more chance there is of them being found.
Below are other appeals for missing dogs that we’ve covered this year: