Woman's bid to find stolen dog sees her targeted by hoax callers

Credit: Louise Astbury

A dog owner from Cornwall has received "cruel" phone calls from people demanding money, claiming to have found her missing whippet.

Louise Astbury, from Twelveheads, has been searching for 10-year-old Zephyr since he went missing on 27 September. She believes he was stolen.

After posting an appeal to find him online, Louise received threatening calls from several people.

Despite the calls, she still wants people to contact her if they think they may have seen her whippet Zephyr.

Louise said she was on a walk with her two whippets Zephyr and Senga when she realised only one of her pets was still following her to the car.

"It’s like he vanished," she said. "I went down one of the trails and called them both as I walked towards the car which was just two minutes away.

"I looked back to them and Senga was at my heels. I called for Zeph again and he didn’t come. I thought he was busy sniffing so turned back on myself to find him.

"I walked back the 10 metres to where I last saw him and no sign of him in the surrounding area - I called and called and called - nothing. And no sign of him since."

"We feel that what's most likely is that someone has stolen him," she added.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police has said: "We received a report of a dog who went missing after being walked off the lead near Truro between 2.15pm and 3pm on Tuesday 27 September.

"Despite localised searches, the dog has not been located. Anyone with any information is asked to email 101@dc.police.uk quoting crime reference CR/091834/22."

Louise also enlisted the help of a recuse crew to search the river.

"We have relentlessly searched from that moment onwards and so many people have helped but there have been no signs or sighting - not a single spotting in three weeks."

Beautys Legacy, a campaign which works to reunite lost and stolen animals, are helping Louise in her search.

A spoksperson for the charity said: "We are appealing to anyone who knows anything at all about the disappearance of Zephyr to come forward to us in complete confidence.

"The impact this has had on the family has been horrific - pet abduction is a cruel crime."

Louise and her family have said they will continue with their search for Zephyr until he is found.

"We feel like a part of our existence has been lost," Louisa said.

"We are utterly desperate to have him home."

Devon and Cornwall Police have issued guidance online for anyone who has had their dog stolen.