Wandsworth family refuse to leave holiday until lost dog is found

A family from London are refusing to return home from their holiday until their lost dog has been found.

The devastated owners of 15-year-old Spillo have extended their trip in West Sussex in a desperate attempt to find their dog.

The family, from Wandsworth, booked their one-week holiday after shielding since February.

Laura and her family decided to rent a dog-friendly cottage, on Ingrams Green Lane, three miles outside Midhurst, SussexLive has reported.

The family has three rescue dogs and on the morning of July 28, they let the dogs out together, into the nearby field.

But only two came back.

Laura Bierer-Nielsen, 23, from Wandsworth, London, said: “We could not believe it.

“Spillo is 15 and a half, arthritic and has muscle atrophy. He can only walk about 100 yards without wanting to stop. We thought he had to be in the neighbour’s garden.

“When it dawned on us that he really was not in the surrounding field or garden, we were consumed with worry as he was due to have his painkiller with his food and thought he would be in pain.

“Then we immediately got into action, searching, organising and notifying all the relevant parties like the chip company, vets, dog wardens.”

The search has not stopped for Laura, her dad Henrik and mum Sharon, who have remained in West Sussex.

(Image: Laura Bierer-Nielsen)

Laura had to return to London with the other two dogs, but her parents have stayed in the Midhurst area.

Laura said: “There was never any question that my mum would leave Spillo. Mum and dad have cancelled their holidays and all their commitments in London until further notice.

“We certainly have no plans to leave at the moment.”

A masters student with an impeding dissertation deadline, Laura has put her studies on hold until the family are back home in London, with Spillo.

She is currently spending her days focusing on organising, social media, and searching for her pet.

So far the family have reached 130,000 people on Facebook, given out over 500 leaflets going house to house, on streets and at car boot sales.

They have put up 450 laminated posted around West Sussex and East Hants.

They have contacted local ramblers groups, vets, environmental agency, police, dog wardens, waterways, dog rescues and South Downs national park.

(Image: Laura Bierer-Nielsen)

It doesn’t stop there, the family have employed the use of two drones, the use of three sets of sniffer dogs, hired a thermal imaging camera, put up corex boards, spent over 40 hours watching and analysing CCTV, inspected vehicles and engaged the services of pet detective, Colin Butcher.

The family set up a Facebook page, “Spillo Search” where the update followers with news of their search and memories of the pooches time with the family.

People from all over the county have rushed to their aid, with messages of support and countless volunteers out searching for Spillo.

Laura said: “The only good thing to happen in this horrid time has been the kindness and generosity of people in Sussex.

“We are strangers, had no contacts or friends in the area but without fail, people have responded positively, given up their time, searched, shared and gone out of their way to help us find Spillo.

“We have all been amazed by the local people.

“This has been in stark contrast to the relative inaction and silence from the police.

“Following my interview with BBC Radio Sussex on Thursday we finally had a response, however no further action was taken after that. We have felt incredibly alone and like they just don’t care.”

The family are now offering a “substantial reward for information which leads to the safe recovery” of Spillo, with no questions asked.


My London – Local News