A worried pet owner has spent five days desperately searching for his 15-stone puppy, after he ran away from home on Bonfire Night. The search is still on to track down Harry the 13-month-old Boerboel South African mastiff, who is a “big boy but a scaredy-cat”.
Owner Joe Booth has deployed drones, thermal imaging cameras, missing dog flyers and trawled a five-mile radius of their home in Ashford, Kent – but there have been no sightings of Harry. Joe said: “He’s an absolute big softie. Obviously, he’s a massive dog but he’s a little sweetheart. He is just a little lovable teddy bear, very clumsy.”
Joe has owned dogs for nearly 25 years and was unaware that young Harry was scared of fireworks.
He believes the terrified pooch might be hiding in a farm building because he’s also afraid of rain.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t got any sightings at all and until we get a sighting is a bit of a needle in a haystack,” Joe said.
He has taken Karma, his other Boerboel who’s nearly two-years-old, to help out.
Karma is halfway through her training as a tracker dog, and Joe is hopeful she’ll be able to find Harry.
“We’ve put up some lost posters and some lovely volunteers are helping us with the search,” he explained.
“There’s also a Facebook group going out and searching with drones too, although the rain has made that difficult.
“There’s lots of lovely people out there who will try and help you.
“Hopefully he’ll come out of wherever he is hiding from the rain and make an appearance in the next day or so, fingers crossed.”
Joe, who owns a civil engineering firm, said Harry will have to come home soon because he is hungry and too slow to catch an animal for food.
“I didn’t know he was scared of fireworks because he’s only 13 months old, so he wasn’t with me last Bonfire Night,” Joe said.
“None of my other dogs have been scared of them, so I wasn’t thinking in that direction but it’s safe to say that he definitely is.
“When I found the hole in the fence it looked like it had been there for quite a while, so there was no reason for him to go through it.
“He’s got an acre garden for him to roam and do as he wishes, so there’’ no reason for him to go out there other than being spooked and now I think he can’t find his way home.”
However, Harry is well trained and Joe is confident he can collect him once someone has spotted the massive dog.
“If we just get one sighting I can go and get him, he’s pretty well trained, he’s trained to a whistle he’s trained to a clicker,” he said.
The giant pup was even huge when Joe first got him.
He reportedly weighed around 17 kilos at 10 weeks old, roughly the same weight as an adult female Siberian husky.
“At 15 stone you’d have thought he’d be hard to miss, but no-one has seen him yet,” Joe said.