Rhubarb had joined her London family on a visit to Macclesfield on Wednesday November 24, but during a walk, the cream-coloured Cockapoo lost sight of her owners
Image: Nick Smith)
A family’s dog who went missing on a visit to town has been found six days later – after a 50-mile journey.
Rhubarb had joined her London family on a visit to Macclesfield on Wednesday November 24, but during a walk, the cream-coloured Cockapoo lost sight of her owners.
The family contacted the Lost Dog Trapping Team – UK Search and Rescue Network for help the next day and multiple sightings were reported.
However, each time she was approached, Rhubarb would run away.
Nick Smith, of the trapping team, aided the search effort with cameras to set up feed stations and drones were also used to try and find her, Cheshire Live reports.
In a post on Facebook, he said: “At the time, due to the amount of missing dogs we were dealing with, kit including cameras were in high demand and the earliest we could get kit to the family was Friday evening.
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“I travelled to Macclesfield on Friday evening armed with a couple of live cameras to set up with feed stations, to try and catch a glimpse of Rhubarb in the early hours.
“The night before, Rhubarb had managed to get into someone’s garden and sleep on their outdoor furniture under a gazebo. Sadly she ran when the house owners saw her but a camera was set up there in case she returned.”
A camera was also set up in Macclesfield Crematorium, where Rhubarb had been seen, but she never appeared.
On the Saturday (November 27), there were three sightings in Ash Grove play area and the drone pilot also spotted her at times throughout the day.
A trap was set up along with three live cameras and a barbecue to “put a scent in the air” but these were interfered with by “local teens”.
Nick said: “Just after 6pm, the cameras at the trap went off and guess what?! Two local teens thought it would be a great idea to interfere with the trap and cameras, and slam the door shut.
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“Luckily Lois Clapcott (Rhubarb’s owner) and her mum were close by and were able to reset the trap in the hope Rhubarb wasn’t nearby watching and scared off by the noise.
“Two hours later, cameras went off again all around the trap and hey presto, another group of teens interfering with the trap, this time with a lovely ‘young lady’ actually trying to climb in the trap.
“This final act would have ruined any chance of Rhubarb going in with that much activity in the area. The trap was dismantled and removed from the area with the opportunity gone.”
There were further sightings of Rhubarb in Clough Brook on Sunday, and on Monday she was seen in a park in Marple, near Stockport.
Tim Clapcott, Rhubarb’s owner, drove to Marple and ‘half a dozen people’ who had been following the search on social media were monitoring her from a safe distance.
Nick said: “A local man called Carl had been sat for a while in the park with his dogs and Rhubarb had slowed down her frantic pace at last and was showing interest before she did what she does best, and ran.
“Tim went into the woods, sat down and waited. Nothing happened, no sign of her.
“Then he rang his daughter with an update, almost saying that Rhubarb was nowhere to be seen. It was wet, freezing cold and he was about to give up when Rhubarb appeared, picked up her dad’s scent, heard his voice and ran straight to him for a huge warm cuddle, safe at last.”
He added: “She is absolutely exhausted and hungry and thirsty as expected, but other than that, completely unharmed and has managed to keep herself safe
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with the family, Debs, Tim and Lois who have all been out in freezing temperatures, rain, storms and their efforts have been relentless day and night.
“The local communities in Macclesfield, Bollington, Marple and all interconnecting towns and villages have all been amazing, phoning sightings in and assisting with searches, all hoping for a safe outcome. Thank you all for helping, keeping a look out and sending your best wishes for Rhubarb.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.