Holbeach Hurn stray had been missing from its home 200 miles away for five years

Fern was missing for five years. ANL-160322-123133001
Fern was missing for five years. ANL-160322-123133001
Have your say

A pet dog found in Holbeach Hurn has been returned to its family – 200 miles away and over five years since it went missing.

The dog’s owners, who live in Tyne and Wear, were stunned to hear their Bedlington Cross Whippet, Fern, had been found recently.

The amazing story has highlighted the importance of getting dogs microchipped, which is about to become compulsory by law.

Dog warden Rachel Thompson said: “In all my time as a dog warden I’ve never known a case like it.

“It’s not unusual to find to dogs registered to owners in other parts of the country, but I’ve never had one that’s been missing for so long.

“When I rang the owners they were completely shocked and had long since given up hope of seeing Fern again, but now they’re delighted to have her home.

“We’re not sure what happened during the intervening five years as Fern originally disappeared. She may have been homeless or had multiple owners.”

Fern was microchipped and still registered to the original owner, making it easy to reunite them, demonstrating the benefit of microchipping and keeping details up to date.

From April 6 all dogs over eight weeks old must be chipped and the owner’s details registered by law.

Most vets can chip your dog for between £8 and £10, but also look out for events run by the dog warden, with the following taking place over the next few weeks:

• Thursday, March 31: Holbeach Football Club, Boston Road, Holbeach, 9.30am to noon;

• Monday, April 4: Rookes Pet Store, High Street, Spalding, 9.30am to noon.

A veterinary nurse will be in attendance at both events to offer advice, free nail clipping and free health checks.

Rachel will also be offering a free chip check on dogs already chipped to provide the chip number to owners that need to change ownership details with the chip provider.