A WOMAN is appealing to islanders to help her track down a rescue dog that has been missing for up to two years and may have been spotted in Lerwick.
Anne Benferri said the dog Pia, a brown and white Ibizan hound, was one of four that were missing from the same Glasgow house where they were rehomed in 2013.
She has been contacted with a possible sighting of a man walking a dog resembling Pia. The dog apparently goes by the same name, is the same age and is believed to have been bought on the Glasgow Gumtree website.
“There are so many similarities that I need to find this man again to see if it is indeed ‘our Pia’,” Anne says. “He has only had her a few months, I believe, so it is likely she was with another family before he bought her.
“If it is our missing dog, not only will it end the search for her but he may have information that will help us find the other three that are also missing.”
Reward money of £2,500 is available and she said if the man could help find some of the other dogs he would be eligible for some of the cash.
“We do not want to remove Pia from him if she is well cared for,” Anne continued. “He has been seen walking his dog around the loch, Staney Hill and Tesco way but since I was told about this sighting no-one has come across him again yet.”
Pia was born at a rescue shelter for Podencos – a Spanish breed of hunting dog that is severely abused in Spain.
Along with Ora, Rufus and Luna, they were rescued from “dire” situations in Spain by three different rescue organisations and rehomed in Glasgow in early 2013.
But Anne says they have been missing despite 16 months of constant searching after discovering they had all been moved on from their adoptive home when they were still puppies. Adopters are forbidden from rehoming or selling on such dogs, as they have to be returned to the rescue organisations.
She said the dogs’ “unscrupulous” adopter lied to her for eight months that she still had the puppies. Since Anne found out that was not the case in May 2014, the adopter has “refused to say where they are or what has happened to them”.
“They are now over two years old and despite a massive search on Facebook with over 2,000 people on their Facebook page, we have had no success,” she said.
“I have done everything possible to try and find them. We held a rally in Glasgow last October with nearly 10,000 leaflets being handed out, hundreds and hundreds of posters being handed out, hundreds and hundreds of posters being put up, their faces posted all over Facebook and shared by thousands.”
Anne added: “I believe they were sold on Gumtree or a similar type of site for selling pets and I just keep hoping that they are safe and well cared for and if we can see that they are happy and loved, we will not try and remove them from a good home as that wouldn’t be fair to the dogs after all this time nor to the families who have cared for them, but we have to know what has happened to them.
“As with everyone who has pets missing, my life has been consumed by this search for the past 16 months. My life is on hold as I can’t just give up on them and until I know what has happened to them, there can be no closure.”
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