Ludlow breeder's relief after champion dog stolen to order is found
Tails are wagging at a Shropshire dog breeders after a national championship dog, which was stolen to order, was returned home thanks to the power of social media.
Bruce, the Canadian champion Welsh Terrier disappeared from his home in Ludlow overnight on Saturday.
His distraught owner, Rachel Pearce, discovered he was missing when she went to let out her dogs from their kennels on Sunday morning.
She thought at first that the distinctive dog had got out on his own and went to check every inch of her property.
But although every other dog and bitch was present and correct, there was no sign of two-and-a-half year old Bruce.
"I called the police and also Dogs Lots and Canine Search UK and posted it on Facebook," said Rachel, who has been breeding Welsh and Wire Haired Terriers for more than 20 years.
"I just wanted to make him too hot to handle. He is a real character and very well known and I believe someone targeted him.
"In the space of 12 hours there were 3,500 shares on Facebook and, although we had someone contact us saying they had him and wanted a reward, we believe that was a hoax."
Then came the call Rachel had been waiting for.
At 9pm on Sunday night a veterinary surgery in Worcester called to say they had Bruce, who had been found on a dual carriageway near the city.
"I got down there as quickly as I could and sure enough, it was Bruce. The moment he saw me he went mad and the vet was in no doubt that I was his owner. He is now back home and getting some extra treats."
And as if that was not enough drama for Rachel, Bruce has just become a dad to four bitches - born in the early hours of yesterday morning.
"It has been a real rollercoaster for me over the past 48 hours," said Rachel. "But it is just wonderful that I have Bruce back - he was very much missed and it is all down to the power of the internet.
"The police are now investigating both the theft and also the hoax call. But all I can say is thanks to everyone who helped get him back home. It was amazing."