A little dog who sparked a massive search when he went missing after disappearing down a rabbit hole at a Sussex park has been found safe.
The dog - a Jack Russell crossbreed called Quinn - was finally reunited with his overjoyed owner Melissa Moremon yesterday after being missing for 11 days.
A huge search was launched when little Quinn vanished while on a walk at Sandgate Park, Storrington, on May 3. Teams of people scoured the countryside for him, missing posters were delivered over a wide area and specialist tracking equipment and underground cameras were brought in to help in the search.
Now his relieved owner Melissa - who works at the RSPCA headquarters in Southwater where Quinn is a mascot - said today: “I am so so so delighted I can’t stop smiling. It feels like a ten tonne weight has been lifted from my shoulders.”
She said she cried with ‘sheer joy and relief’ when she was finally reunited with Quinn yesterday.
She said Quinn was “very dehydrated and his eyes were all puffy. He was so so tired. He was found in Sandgate Park which is where he went missing.
“Not a moment has gone by when I haven’t been thinking about him and where he might have been. I just can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me and for the love they showed little Quinny.
“I kept being told how important it was to keep calling his name so he knew we hadn’t given up on him, so thank you to everyone who has been to Sandgate Park and called his name.
“The love you have all shown has really touched my heart. Thank you so so much.”
Melissa and Quinn’s ordeal finally came to an end yesterday afternoon when Melissa received a telephone call from a woman who had spotted Quinn while out walking her own dog in Sandgate Park. “I’ve had a few other calls of sightings so I wasn’t sure at first,” said Melissa, “then the woman said she had got my telephone number off the tag on Quinn’s collar. I just whizzed down there.”
She said Quinn - who is now recovering at the vets - was looking thin and was subdued and dehydrated, but was expected to be back home soon.
She added today: “He has had a good night, was wagging his tail this morning and has eaten small amounts of food with great gusto.”
Melissa paid thanks to everyone who had supported her in her search and particulary Sally Carruth who finally found him on a path in the park.
“I cannot thank the amazing village of Storrington, my family, friends and colleagues at the RSPCA enough.
“I am so glad to have a happy ending for you all after you have all put in so much effort and love to find him.”