Merlin is magically found

A HUGE dog hunt across the South East has led to a missing canine being reunited with his owner. Merlin the seven-year-old lurcher went missing last month after his owner Linda Ravenhill, from Kings Road, Hitchin, was involved in a car crash on the M25 ne

A HUGE dog hunt across the South East has led to a missing canine being reunited with his owner.

Merlin the seven-year-old lurcher went missing last month after his owner Linda Ravenhill, from Kings Road, Hitchin, was involved in a car crash on the M25 near Reigate in Surrey.

Miss Ravenhill, 58, suffered a broken collar bone and cracked ribs in the crash and had to be cut from her car by the fire service.

Although her other dog Tinker, who was also in the car at the time of the accident, was caught safely, Merlin ran away from the scene.

Because Miss Ravenhill lives 75 miles away from the site of the accident it was difficult for her family to juggle both caring for her and to search thoroughly for Merlin.

Her partner Pete Myatt, 52, said: "She was in pain and couldn't get out and we couldn't get out to do much searching.

Most Read

"She had to put up with both the pain from the accident and her dog going missing as well."

Fortunately for the family a web page www.doglost.co.uk/forum.asp?ID=9062 set up to publicise Merlin's disappearance became a huge success and an army of volunteers across the South East began searching for the dog.

Reported sightings of Merlin kept popping up on the website and volunteers also told of how they were putting up missing posters across Surrey.

The web page eventually had over 9,000 viewings and over 400 comments were added to the page as people kept an eye on the search.

There were a number of false alarms, including a sighting on an island on the River Mole which led to Mr Myatt camping out on the island for 24 hours with Tinker in the hope of spotting Merlin.

Fourteen days after his disappearance Merlin was spotted by a doglost.co.uk member in an alleyway in north Leatherhead on Saturday.

Mr Myatt was contacted and after a two-hour journey around the M25 he arrived in Leatherhead and sent Tinker up the alley to flush out her big brother.

Instead she ate the food that had been left for Merlin before returning to Mr Myatt.

He then went into the alley himself.

There was a rustling in a hedge and Merlin, thin and wobbly, came out and approached his owner.

Mr Myatt said: "It's fantastic to have him back and Linda is a lot happier now. She's doing well but is happier now Merlin is back.

"He was a little bit thin when I found him but he's on the mend and is doing really well.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter