The thought of anything happening to our dogs is unimaginable
We share such an incredible bond with them but more than 60 dogs are stolen in the UK each week and many more go missing leaving families utterly shattered.
There is help out there - via doglost.co.uk who are a huge community of volunteers across the UK who work tirelessly to reunite dogs with their owners.
Nearly every day they succeed but it’s vital their cases are shared so it’s why I’ve teamed up with them to share cases every month.
Today owners Harriet, Rachael and Caroline explain what happened to their dogs.
It’s nearly nine years since Louie, a small Yorkshire Terrier from Birmingham went missing in September 2012.
His determined family have never given up - he was only three when he vanished and will now be ten.
Louie went missing from his home at around 6pm on 26th September when his family were having work done at their home in Kings Norton.
He followed one of the workmen out to their car and got locked out and it’s thought he was found then kept, known as ‘theft by finding.’
A neighbour saw Louie on the front doorstep and went to pick him up but he got spooked and ran into nearby fields.
Others tried to catch him but the frightened little dog kept running and he was last seen on the corner of Middleton Hall Road the day he went missing.
Louie’s owner Rachael Handley has searched tirelessly for Louie since. She said: “It has always been extremely difficult for us to put into words just how this impacts us as a family.
“It’s been completely devastating and has consumed our lives. It’s an endless roller coaster of emotions which can sometimes be unbearable to cope with.”
Rachael with a photo of treasured Yorkie Louie
Louie is a tiny dog with a huge personality and presence
He is a happy, easy going boy, cheeky, funny yet fearless.
He is trained to gold standard obedience and agility so he knows lots of commands and tricks and loves to be the centre of attention.
Louie is microchipped and his details can’t be changed, so if he’s scanned, the vet should be alerted that he’s missing.
Local rescues, police, vets, walkers and groomers and taxi companies know about Louie and his family search every day.
His story has been shared at high profile events like Crufts, Pup Aid, Paws in the Park and his family have campaigned at Westminster to change the law on pet theft.
There’s a reward for his safe return or information leading to it and you can join the Facebook group to help find Louie here - www.facebook.com/Missinglouie/
Rachael said: “It’s been six and a half awful years of waiting and wondering where Louie is and what has happened to him.
“Louie is our family, our precious little boy. We just need him home. If anyone knows anything, please, please, do the right thing and come forward with any information. No questions asked and we will treat any information in the strictest of confidence. ”
If anyone has Louie or has information on him, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 43360 or to visit his Dog Lost profile here.
Aika is a four-year-old black rescue Pug and went missing on 17th January this year.
She disappeared from her garden at home in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire around 6pm after being outside for just a couple of minutes.
Owner Harriet Eavers thinks it’s possible she escaped from the garden as CCTV doesn’t show anyone entering the garden.
She’s an all black Pug apart from a distinctive white patch on her chest and came from Muffin Pug Rescue.
Where she went missing is surrounded by fields and there was one sighting of Aika the next day on Leckhampton Lane in Cheltenham but no confirmed sightings since.
Harriet and Aika have featured on local radio and in the newspaper, thousands of leaflets have been given out and the community has rallied to help find her.
Harriet said: “I will not rest until I know what has happened and she is safe at home. It has been heart-breaking - she truly is part of the family.
“It is my absolute worst nightmare and I would not wish this to happen to anyone.”
Aika and Harriet
Little Aika is a friendly, sociable Pug
She loves people and other dogs and is known by family and friends for being mischievous and extra greedy.
She is microchipped and neutered and her family are offering a substantial reward for her safe return and you can join her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/haveyouseenaika
Owner Harriet added: “For anyone who may have Aika, please return my dog. She deserves to be safe at home where she is loved.
“If you have her, please get in contact or drop her off at a safe location - wear a hoody, drop her off and leave. There will be no questions asked.
“If you think she has been sold onto you, it’s not your fault. Please get in touch so we can check it’s her and I can know she is safe. I just want my dog safe at home.”
If anyone has Aika or has information on her, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 139463 or to visit her Dog Lost profile here.
Anna is a three-year-old working Cocker Spaniel who went missing from Marden in Hereford in March 2019
She was hunting in a hedgerow down a private lane close to her home while out on a walk and went missing
Owner Caroline Marsland has been searching fields, hedgerows, rivers and railways for several miles around the area and spent hours calling her on March 7th when she disappeared.
They’ve also informed all the vets and rescue centres within a 30-mile radius, put posters in shops, pubs, post offices, parks and walking spots but have had no sightings and fear she’s been found and kept.
Caroline said: “Anna loves people and cuddles and loves to stroke people more than being stroked herself. Our family is utterly heartbroken.”
Anna on a day out at the beach
Anna is a small Cocker Spaniel
Caroline is worried she may have been mistaken for a puppy and kept. She is microchipped.
Her family and their other dog Poppy are searching desperately for her and have asked if anyone has taken in a dog matching her description to get in touch.
Many people unwittingly buy dogs with no idea they have been stolen or take them in believing them to be strays when their distraught families are searching for them.
Caroline said: “Everyone loves Anna and we just want her home. If anyone knows anything about her disappearance, please let us know.
“If you have her, please take her to a nearby vets and say you found her, there will be no questions asked. She is part of our family and we need her home.”
If anyone has Anna or has information on her, please contact DogLost on 0844 800 3220 quoting dog ID 141223 or to visit her Dog Lost profile here.
The more people see these stories, the higher the chance of the dogs being found
So please, spare a thought for the families of Louie, Aika and Anna and if you think you can help, share on social media, or via e mail or WhatsApp.
It means so much to the families and, reassuringly, many do find their way home even after many years.