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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Big community effort saves dog on freezing night

A massive community search effort helped save the life of a dog who went missing in sub-zero temperatures near Dinas Bran Castle in Llangollen last night (Monday).

Grateful owner Matthew Pritchard says the dog, named Andy (pictured), probably wouldn’t have survived the night as the thermometer plummeted to – 10 if he hadn’t have been found after 600 people shared a Facebook message to say he was missing and a number joined the hunt to find him.   

Matthew said: “We acquired Andy just after Christmas last year. He was already named and believed to be 12-15 months old.

“He was being trained to sniff explosive and was destined to spend his life abroad in war zones, but luckily for him he failed to make the grade.

“Although his health and sniff were excellent he had a short attention span, possibly due to his trainers believing he was a lot older than he was. We believe he was about eight months old when he came to live with us in Llangollen.

“Andy fitted in well with our family and soon we started to run canicross with him as both myself and my partner Heather like to run.

“Andy comes out running with us at every available opportunity and we’ve even entered into canicross events where he’s come home with his own medal.

“We regularly train with our local club, Run Free Fell Runners, of which Andy could be classed as the club mascot, and it was on one of these training sessions last night that he disappeared. He runs both on the lead and sometimes off the lead and has never disappeared before.”

Describing how last night’s drama unfolded, Matthew said: “Heather and the run club were half way up Dinas Bran Castle when Andy disappeared.

“After spending what seemed like ages shouting and looking for him Heather ran back home to get another head torch, a power bank for her phone and to inform me about Andy disappearance before returning back up the castle to continue the search.
"While she did this the remaining members of the Run Free Fell Runners club continued looking.
“It was at this point that I placed two posts on Facebook, one on Llangollen Notice Board and one on my personal page.
“Within an hour both posts had had over 600 shares each with over 500 comments combined. People were messaging me from all over with offers of help in searching for him.
“I even had a message from a professional drone company offering assistance. Many members of the Llan community and surrounding areas left the warmth of their own homes and gave up their valuable time to help find him.
“With the temperatures due to drop to -10 I didn’t think he’d of survived the night stuck up the castle. After just over an hour of searching he was found safe and well.”
“He’s run this route many of times with the club but we believe the deep snow must have disorientated him.
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of people concerned for Andy and the amount who helped in the search and I just can’t thank them enough.
“Andy returned home, had his tea and snuggled down in his warm bed for the evening, probably oblivious to just how many people were out looking for him.”

* Andy with the Run Free Fell Runners.

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