'We desperately want him home' - family's plea as blind rescue dog missing from Cornwall home

05-10-21 Max standing on his hind legs- RSPCA
Twelve-year-old crossbreed Max was originally found on the streets of Greece before eventually ending up in RSPCA care. Credit: RSPCA

A family is appealing for help after their blind rescue dog was potentially stolen from their Cornwall home.

Twelve-year-old crossbreed Max was adopted by a family moving to a new farm in St Keverne.

But just eight weeks after joining the family in March last year, he developed a condition which caused him to lose his eyesight almost overnight.

Louise Heeley-Lawrence said: "Thankfully, he adapted quickly and well to going blind, and he continued to have a lovely quality of life."

But on Sunday 12 September, Max and five of the family's other dogs were in the farm's kennel kitchen while Louise's husband was trying to fix a piece of machinery just outside the open yard gate.

When he returned to feed them, Max was nowhere to be seen.

“We’ve tried everything and looked everywhere,” Louise said. “We brought in two tracking dogs and searched the whole area with our own dogs.

“We sent two drones up and used thermal imaging and telescopic cameras to search the farm. We shared his photo on social media, put up posters, and spoke to everyone in the area.

"There have been no sightings, no trace of him and no clue."

Max has two distinguishing features: his back left leg turns out and he has a bald patch on his rump, just above his tail to the left. Credit: -RSPCA

A week later, the family say they received a worrying phone call from a stranger who claimed to have Max. 

"It was a man and he said he had my dog. He said if I hung up or contacted the police that he’d kill him and send me the video.

"I was panicking and my children came and recorded the conversation. He said he wanted £500 wired to his bank account and then he’d drop Max back at home."

The family have reported Max’s disappearance and the phone call to the police, who are now investigating. But they are still none the wiser as to where Max is and are desperate to have him home, and have offered a reward for his safe return. 

Max is an older dog with two distinguishing features: his back left leg turns out and he has a bald patch on his rump, just above his tail to the left. His bottom teeth are worn down to the gum line, but you cannot tell he’s blind to look at him.

Max is microchipped, and his chip is registered to RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

  • Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Louise by emailing Louisapastaroni1@aol.com or contact Southridge by calling 0300 123 0704.