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Missing dog found after three-and-a-half month search

PUBLISHED: 09:20 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 14 September 2018

Zaki was reunited with his owner after three-and-a-half months. Photo: Lisa Colby.

Zaki was reunited with his owner after three-and-a-half months. Photo: Lisa Colby.

Archant

A delighted dog-owner has spoken of the joy she felt after being reunited with her pet – three-and-a-half months after he disappeared.

On Thursday, May 24, Zaki – a black terrier cross – jumped over a garden gate in Stevens Street, Lowestoft, and bolted down the road.

His owner, Bernadette Abri, was left distraught by his escape.

The 59-year-old had only had Zaki, a former Romanian street dog, for a matter of weeks and was terrified of the possible fate which could befall the timid terrier.

She got in touch with Lisa Colby, who originally brought Zaki over from Romania, and Helen Jermy of DogLost Norfolk and Suffolk.

And together the trio began a huge social media campaign to try and bring Zaki home.

They received support from across Lowestoft with strangers forming search parties and posts gaining hundreds of shares across Facebook.

However for more than three months they heard nothing.

Ms Colby said: “After three-and-half months we had half given up.”

This all changed last Friday.

They received a tip-off Zaki had been living wild in a large garden less than a mile from Mrs Abri’s home – with the owner leaving food for the dog but was unable to approach him.

Mrs Abri said: “I was in absolute disbelief, he looked knackered and I hadn’t seen him in a while – but it was Zaki again.

“He is a proper old-fashioned mongrel like you used to see in the 60s; he’s a little bit of everything with legs at the bottom.

“There were quite a few tears when we found him – we were all hugging.”

Mrs Abri explained during Zaki’s time in the wild he had become “virtually feral” and as a result is yet to return to her home.

Instead he is staying in the care of Ms Colby, who has more experience, while he recovers.

The dog-owner expressed her gratitude for the constant support the two women provided.

She added: “Without the publicity from Helen and Lisa we never would never have found him – they are absolutely amazing.

“There were so many people helping, I was completely overwhelmed. It really does restore your faith in people – they just keep on caring.”

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