Heartbroken owner's six-year search for missing Cockapoo | TeamDogs
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Heartbroken owner's six-year search for missing Cockapoo

Izzy ran off after being scared by the house alarm

Danielle Elton

Posted 2 months ago ago

A dog owner has revealed the devastating six-year search for their beloved pet. who went missing during a half-term holiday.

Our dogs are a part of our family so to no longer have them with us, no matter the circumstances, is absolutely devastating.

Dawn Purvis is still doing what she can to find her cockapoo Izzy.

Izzy was nearly six years old when she went missing so Dawn knows that time isn’t on her side.

“Cockapoos can live up to around 15 years so I know time is running out,” said Dawn.

“There's lots of people who have said to me ‘she's not coming back, give up’ and I suppose that would be an easy thing to do and it certainly would be a lot less upsetting and a lot less stressful in all honesty, but she was my family, you know, she was.”

Izzy, who would usually go to work with Dawn’s husband Ian, went missing during the February half term.

Ian had taken the week off work to look after the couple’s daughters and had popped out to get paint. Unbeknownst to him, the workman who was due to arrive the next day had turned up a day early and let himself in, triggering the house alarm and scaring Izzy.

Dawn said: “She was quite nervous of people she didn't know as well, especially men.

“The alarm started going off and she ran out the house into the garden and instead of just sort of leaving her and ringing my husband, he kept on trying to catch her...Izzy just took off down the street and that was the last anybody saw of her really.”

Just as you should in these circumstances, Ian and Dawn searched the local area and anywhere familiar to Izzy hoping to find her, with no luck.

They even set up a Facebook page dedicated to finding their missing dog, and although it brought in some leads, none of them resulted in Izzy’s return.

There had also been numerous sightings, with one man on a motorbike stopping to try and catch her but she ran off, something that still devastates him to this day.

“She wouldn't have gone to people that she didn't know, she was like that,” said Dawn.

“She was that kind of dog. You could take her off the lead on a walk because she would just stay by your side all the time or in view of you all the time. She didn't like to have you out of her view at all.”

As well as getting various missing dog charities involved in the search, Dawn also resorted to tearing up one of Ian’s t-shirts and scattering the pieces around the surrounding estate hoping to create a scent trail.

She said: “I think, literally, if somebody would have told me the most obscure thing to do to get her to come home, I would have done it in those days I really would have.”

Although it has been quite some time since the disappearance, Dawn is still heartbroken by the loss of her dog and told us it is something she has never got over.

She said: “My dogs are my family and it's just like it's part of my family that I don't know what happened to, and I've never had closure over and that's the hard bit.

“You never know what happened, you don't know whether she was okay. She could be lying in somebody's house quite happy, but I don't know that, I don't know.”

Dawn also told us how she slept downstairs for months, worried that she wouldn’t hear Izzy if she made her way home.

The disappearance also had a massive impact on the couple’s children.

“The children used to wake up crying because she still wasn't home, you know, because they were only young at the time,” said Dawn.

“Dogs are like their best buddies, aren't they? You know when they tell them everything, even things they won't tell you I used to hear them tell Izzy.

“She was everything to us.”

Dawn has recently taken part in a documentary about pet theft and missing dogs, Muddy Paws Crime produced by Fusiology Productions. You can watch the trailer here.

As well as raising awareness of the devastating impact this can have on owners, producers are also calling for change in the way dogs are viewed in regards to the law.

Dawn said: “I just don't think people understand what impact it has on people. And it doesn't go away, it doesn't, no matter how long it's been.

She added: “You know, it isn't something we get over, we don't get over. It's not like somebody taking the TV, you know, they’re not a TV, but by law that's how they’re thought of, they’re classed as a commodity.

“And I think laws need to change and things need to be, there needs to be more consequences for this because the impact it has on you emotionally is horrendous.”

Meet the man who's helped find missing dogs using drones.

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