Desperate family on holiday in West Sussex will not leave until missing dog is found

A family on holiday in West Sussex have hired a pet detective and extended their stay to find their beloved dog which they fear could have been stolen.

Laura Bierer-Nielsen, 23, from Wandsworth, London, said her family dog, Spillo, went missing on Tuesday, July 28, whilst they were on holiday in a cottage in Ingrams Green Lane, three miles outside Midhurst. 

That one-week break has now been extended to four and the family have no intention of leaving until the 15-year-old mongrel is found. 

Described as the ‘king of Wandsworth Common’, Spillo was first seen by the Bierer-Nielsen as an eight-week-old puppy, ‘dumped in an oil drum’, in Italy.

They have received help from search teams from across the area, whilst also receiving messages of support and concern from people in USA, Bali, Malaysia and Australia.

Laura said: “He went missing from the end of the driveway. He had gone to the field with our two other dogs [who both returned] but he disappeared within four minutes. 

“I’m not exaggerating when I say he has gone off the face of the earth.

“The notion of him walking too far for us to find him is nigh on impossible, considering his age and he’s got very bad arthritis. He struggles to walk long distances.

The search has not stopped for Henrik, his wife Sharon, and their daughter Laura, who have been using thermal camera equipment, three sets of professional sniffer dogs, and have put up more than300 posters and leaflets.

“Him being picked up on the end of the driveway is our number one possibility.

“We have a pet detective who is going down every avenue.

“We’re now staying in rooms at the back of a pub. We’ve cancelled all our holidays for the rest of the year. We’ve almost relocated down here.

“It’s demoralising day in, day out [but] we are not leaving until we find out what’s happened to him. A dog doesn’t disappear off the face of the earth.”

Laura, who goes to the London School of Economics, said she has also put her Masters dissertation on hold. 

Described as the ‘king of Wandsworth Common’, Spillo was first seen by the Bierer-Nielsen as an eight-week-old puppy, ‘dumped in an oil drum’, in Italy.  It took nearly ten years for the then-owners to be persuaded that Spillo would be better off in London.

Laura said: “He is just the most delightful, sweetest dog. Everyone who knows us knows our lives revolve around him.

“We had our whole house and garden re-designed to suit his needs. 

“He’s a strange looking dog. He’s old and in pain. Why anybody would want him other than us, who adore him, I don’t know.  

“Our other dogs really miss him.

“It’s really heartbreaking. It’s ripped my mum and dad’s heart apart and they really aren’t coping.”

Laura thanked the ‘complete strangers’ who have gone to extraordinary lengths to assist the search for Spillo.

She said: “Local people have been extraordinarily helpful with volunteers coming and searching on foot and on horseback. People have been amazingly supportive. 

“Some have taken the time off work just to help. Even our vet has come out to help and stayed with us. He [Spillo] has a big impact on people.

“It’s really lovely, particularly as we’re not local. We don’t know anyone down here. We have had the loveliest messages through from people we’ve never met.”

If you have seen anyone with a dog that resembles Spillo, please contact 07956 171311 or 07531 771076.

Original article (by West Sussex County News) can be viewed here.

His DogLost timeline can be viewed here.

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