DogCast Radio
Home Episodes Articles Blog Breed profiles Book reviews Photos Contact

Bella finally found 110 miles from home after four months missing

The spaniel was reunited with her ecstatic family after she was stolen exactly four months earlier

A beloved pet dog who was stolen from outside a supermarket has finally been reunited with her family four months after disappearing.

Four-year-old springer spaniel Bella went missing from Northampton on 20 October and was found more than 110 miles away - in Bristol.

The black and white dog wandered into a shop in Bristol on 10 February - four months after disappearing from outside a shop.

Taken to the RSPCA’s Bristol Dogs & Cats Home by the council dog warden, Bella didn’t have to wait long to be reunited with her ecstatic family.

Sarah Osborne, husband Philip and son Joseph, 13, drove the 110-mile journey to Bristol in convoy with Sarah’s parents as soon as they received a phone call to say that Bella had been found.

Sarah said: “Bella is a massive part of our family and we were devastated when she was taken.

“It was our anniversary and I asked Philip to go down to the shop to pick up some chocolate. He took Bella with him for a walk and tied her up outside. His back was turned for no more than 40 seconds and she had disappeared.”
The family hunted for Bella, launched a social media campaign, put up posters and contacted the local press but there were no sightings of her.

“We were left with a gaping hole. We had four months of stressing and worrying, especially when the weather was really bad.

“Everything goes through your mind, it’s horrible.

“Joseph found it really hard and started suffering from panic attacks,” said Sarah. “When we were reunited you could see the weight lift off his shoulders!

“Bella knew instantly that it was us, she went absolutely loopy!”

The RSPCA advises all pet owners get their animals microchipped, including dogs, cats, horses and rabbits. Microchipping acts as an identification programme. Each chip has a unique number and each number is logged alongside the owner’s contact details, so it’s important that the details are kept up-to-date. This means that if your pet goes missing or is stolen and is later found, he can be scanned and you can be contacted.

From April 6 this year, it will be a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped - under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 - and to keep registered details up-to-date.
This law will not cover other pets, such as cats, but microchipping is strongly recommended.

Sarah added: “I think compulsory microchipping is fabulous. I don’t think everyone realises, when they take on a pet, how important microchipping is. If Bella hadn’t have been chipped, we never would have seen her again.

“I’m really glad it’s coming into force in April, I just hope that most places will start to scan pets.”

The RSPCA relies on public donations to exist. To assist our Inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).


275 - Controversial advice from Chloe Cavoodle: stop interactions with unknown dogs

Chloe Cavoodle is an assistance dog who posts all about her life in Sydney - her human, Liana, suggests we stop interactions with all strange dogs. Hear why! Plus hear the first chapter of Julie's book Crufts or Bust about Julie and Buddy's attempts to qualify for Crufts.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.