'It was two and a half days of hell': Dog owner describes nightmare after her pet escaped from kennels
PUBLISHED: 11:42 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 03 September 2019
A daschund has been reunited with his owner following a frantic 72-hour search by dozens of people after he escaped from kennels.
Helene Agland, 39, received a call late on Saturday evening while on holiday to say her dog, Sidney, had escaped from The Dog Hotel in Beccles earlier that morning.
She said: "I was in Southampton on holiday and I found out at 10pm, with the children asleep in bed, so I couldn't just get in the car.
"They only tried to phone me once, that was it, and it should have been on the hour every hour."
Mrs Agland posted on local Facebook groups expressing her outrage and fear. It was then the community rallied together in a 72 hour search for the dog.
Mrs Agland said: "I had hundred of shares and so many people out. It's amazing, I couldn't be happier with the response."
A Facebook page 'Help Find Sidney' was launched, and from Saturday night until Monday morning, many people joined the search.
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"There were people flying drones and others leaving food for Sidney in case he was hungry. Everyone helped in some way even if it was a half hour walk in the area," Mrs Agland said.
Sidney was eventually found in a field behind McDonald's in Gillingham on the A146, stuck in the ground.
"He hadn't eaten for two days. He's covered in scratches. I don't know if he will ever be the same dog. He's only 16 months old and he's a shadow of what he was when he left," she said.
Mrs Agland claims the Dog Hotel managers had asked her whether she thought her dog could fit under a gap in the front gate, which was too small for him, but she says they didn't show her the rest of the site where there was another hole in a gate.
She said: "I went back on Sunday and they still haven't fixed it, having known he got out Saturday morning. They have a responsibility to keep dogs safe."
A spokeperson for the kennel said they were unaware of the hole which is now reinforced.
They said: "It is worrying to lose a dog and I have sympathy, but on the other hand I don't have sympathy for people who launch malicious and untrue campaigns on Facebook.
"We had nearly 20 people help search, and we considered a goodwill payment for Mrs Agland. We are currently taking advice from our insurers who are handling it.
"We are grateful to the large numbers of people who looked for the dog and for support during this difficult time."