Family appeal for new owners to return rehomed pet dog

November 26, 2018

A Newtownhamilton family whose dog was rehomed after going missing earlier this month are appealing to the new owner to return the much-loved pet to them.

German Shepherd, Bruno, went missing from his home in Newtownhamilton on 7th November.  His owners say that despite “searching everywhere for him, knocking on doors, driving the roads” and contacting several lost and found pages as well as the USPCA, “nobody knew anything about his whereabouts.” Unknown to his desperate family, Bruno – who unfortunately was not microchipped – had been handed in to a Downpatrick kennels and rehomed – and now owner, Gavin Kelly, cannot be reunited with his beloved dog. 

The family say they only discovered on Tuesday last (20th November) that Bruno had been taken to Corran Kennels in Downpatrick and rehomed. 

Sharing their devastation over the loss of Bruno, Gavin’s sister Aideen told The Examiner,

“The whole family is absolutely heartbroken as Bruno will be missing his home and wondering when he is going to see his family again. The kennels can’t give out the new owner’s details due to their privacy policy, so our last resort is to ask everyone to share our social media posts and we’ve gone to the local media so that we might get the attention of the new owner.”

Aideen said the “biggest regret of our lives” is that Bruno was not microchipped and she urged all pet owners to microchip their dogs “because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

Explaining that the family pet was missing for 12 days before they discovered he had been rehomed, Aideen says “we never in a million years thought he would end up in Downpatrick – almost two hours from where we live.” 

The family say that when they realised Bruno was at Corran Kennels, they immediately contacted the kennel owners, only to find out he had been rehomed.  They claim that Corran Kennels refused to contact Bruno’s new owner and they accused the kennels of rehoming their missing pet “too quickly.”

The Examiner spoke to the owner of Corran rehoming centre, Helen Marks, who advised us that they had acted “completely within the law” with regards to how long they kept Bruno before allowing him to be rehomed. The kennels owner told The Examiner she has been subjected to a “shocking level of online abuse” over the incident and reiterated that the German Shepherd had been admitted to the kennels as a stray on 12th November after being held at the Newry Mourne and Down Council holding facility in Meigh where he was initially taken when picked up by the dog warden on Wednesday 7th November. 

“We are not hiding from the fact that this dog was admitted to the kennels as a stray and that as he was not microchipped, he spent his statutory 6 days with us and was luckily rehomed on day 11 following several visits from his new owner.”

Helen said she was contacted by Bruno’s previous owner for the first time on Tuesday last and, as requested, contacted the new owners to ask if they would return the missing pet.  

“For reasons we cannot disclose, Bruno’s new owners have refused to return him,” she revealed.  

“We have to act within the law and we have done that. Other than forcibly remove the dog from his new owner, we cannot do anything else,” insisted Helen, who added that whilst she felt for the previous owners plight, “the new owner has refused and the law is very clear where we and they stand on this.” 

“The abuse the kennels is receiving for something we can do nothing about has become ridiculous and we do not deserve the hassle and distress this is causing us. We have done everything we can and everything the law asks us to do so it is completely out of our hands.” said the kennel owner.”

Millvale Animal Sanctuary posted a message of support for Corran Kennels and its owner in the wake of the online abuse. The post, issued on their Facebook page, outlined how “Helen at all times carried out her duties to the letter of the law. Once rehomed, the details of the new owner cannot, by law, be revealed. The new owner is the lawful owner and that is unquestionable. Helen, at this point, is out of the loop.”

The post went on to describe Helen as “a woman of integrity and honesty and most certainly does not deserve what she has had to endure for the last few days.”  

“Helen has Millvale’s full support in this matter,” it added.

Meanwhile, Bruno’s family hope their pleas for his return will reach his new owners and are asking people to continue to share their appeal in the hope they can be reunited with the beloved family pet.