Hunter was stolen on 28th July 2020, wonderful news that he has just been reunited via a microchip check, 12th November 2023 but his first microchip scan was on 19th August 2020, just weeks after he was stolen! #PetTheftReform


It’s not compulsory for the veterinary profession to check microchip registration at pets first treatment which is a huge loophole for missing pets to disappear into and why we continue to campaign to #MakeChipsCount #FernsLaw

Update from Grace, Hunter’s owner: Hunter’s first day back home has been a chilled and relaxing one for him.
He still seems a little overwhelmed, which is understandable.

We have not “re-united” him with the others as yet as he didn’t seem ready, so he enjoyed a solo walk and lounging by our feet.

(Apologies in advance for long post!)

After three years had gone by, since that fateful night in July 2020….we were beginning to think our hope of finding Hunter was in vain.
On occassion we have had phone calls, claiming to either have him or know where he was. Thankfully, some details always exposed them for what they were…..a hoax.

Saturday night, about 8.30, my mobile rings.
It is an unknown number…… which I rarely answer.
I had literally just sat down and looking at the screen, debated whether I’d answer or not.
Thankfully, I did.

A lady asked if she could confirm she was speaking to me…..yes…..and if I had dogs stolen and still missing one…..yes!!

She introduced herself – Dianne, from Second Chance Springer Rescue.
She explained that they had a request earlier in the week, from a gentleman, looking for assistance in rehoming his three springer spaniels, Freddie, Sophie and Richard.
(With respect to the man, I will not give any other information on him)

The appropriate foster homes were found and the dogs were picked up by their foster families, on Saturday.
Dianne was going through her usual admin process of transferring the microchip numbers over to their rescue service, on Saturday evening.
Repeated attempts at putting in Freddie’s chip number, Dianne realised she wasn’t putting it in incorrectly…there was something else going on.

The microchip number flagged up as being stolen and “Freddie” was none other than our gorgeous boy Hunter.

In a matter of minutes, Dianne, thinking she started with a straightforward transfer of Freddies chip, realised she had information confirming they actually had Hunter, stolen and missing for over three years….and access to all my contact details.

This is a very bittersweet moment. It took a mere few minutes to find this out and for Dianne to make that unexpected but very welcome phone call.

The reason this is bittersweet is because it highlights the immense failings of the system as it currently stands!

Without giving too much information…… a man that was carrying out some work was concerned about the welfare of a dog in the possession of the people who engaged his services.
It appears the dog was skin and bone, confined in a crate, covered in faeces and the only food allegedly being given, was crusts of bread.
When he finished the job, he couldn’t walk away and leave the dog… he offered to buy him to get him away from the appalling conditions he was in. He supposedly paid £1,000 to do so.

The dog was subsequently brought to a vet.
A file was opened for him. The vet scanned for a microchip and recorded the number on the dogs file.
The dog became known as Freddie.

However……Freddie is Hunter!!

The date of this vet visit, the scanning and recording of a microchip number…..

19TH AUGUST 2020 !!!!


Hunter’s ordeal should have been over, nearly as quickly as it begun, but the vet concerned failed to take a mere minute to enter 15 digits… and sealed a dogs fate in doing so.

My children and I were left devastated by his absence and with respect to the man that bought him, despite he also failing to follow through on transferring the microchip, I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he did not realise his “Freddie” was part of someone else’s family.
By all accounts, he was devastated parting with him …circumstances meant he had to hand him over and he had obviously become attached to him too.

All this could have been avoided….IF ONLY the vet had been more diligent.

Presented with a young adult male dog, in a disgraceful condition, as a new acquisition to his “owner” , added to the fact we were a few months into covid when dog stealing was rife and unavoidably evident in any and every form of social media, tv/ news broadcast…’s inconceivable that it did not occur to either the vet or the “owner” that they had a stolen dog.

How many more missing and stolen dogs are out there, suffering the same fate. Their families left devastated by their absence.

Never would I have expected a stolen dog would be presented to a vet and remain undetected.
How much trouble can it actually be to access a database and enter a microchip number.
The presence of a microchip is only beneficial if it is actually checked properly.
Why would a vet scan to see if one is present, if they don’t bother with the two minutes it takes to follow through?

A lot of heartache, not just ours but the “new owners” , never mind poor Hunter’s, could, and would have been prevented if someone did just that, on the 19th August 2020.
Not to mention the possibility of tracing back to where Hunter had been “rescued” from and finding out how they happened to have him in their possession a mere few weeks after he was stolen.

All that being said, I am grateful to the person for taking Hunter out of, what sounds like horrific conditions and by all accounts loving him for the three plus years he had him…. but this has been a needless journey for Hunter

Something needs to change in this broken system.


All six spaniels have now made it back home, bitter sweet though as Duster was too poorly to recover after being found.

Full update from the family:


Stolen from Goldcliff area of Newport, Wales NP18 area, on 28th July 2020.


Call Gwent Police on 101


HUNTER REUNITED 🐾❤️🐾 Male English Springer Spaniel Liver & White (Age: Adult)


“Thank you all so much for sharing his details and helping to ensure that we got Duster home where he belongs.

DUSTER was found wandering around Martock, just outside Yeovil and an hour and a half from home (approximately 83 miles away).
I would really like to thank Cheryl House, the lovely lady who picked him up, tried to untangle his ears and fed him before taking him to the vet and making sure he was looked after.

We requested holding back with publicising his return to hopefully get an opportunity of checking the local area in case any of the others may have been there and not alert who ever may have stolen them but unfortunately it was shared and so far we have not had any success in tracing the others.

He was in a pretty bad state, stinking, filthy and eyes and ears in a mess – and was very shaken. A bath, new bed and a heat lamp has ensured that he is feeling better. To see him so sad was heart breaking but he is slowly improving and a little spark is coming back to his eyes and he is slowly accepting he is now safe again. It will take time but at least we have him home where he belongs.

It is hard to express the amount of gratitude we have for everyone who has been so supportive and have been behind us since we started this awful journey on 28th July, when Duster was stolen, along with 5 other English Springer”.

Please keep sharing their posts so that we can hopefully reunite them all and get them home safe too.”

SNIPER REUNITED 🐾❤️🐾, Female English Springer Spaniel Liver & White (Age: Older Adult)

CHLOE REUNITED 🐾❤️🐾 Female English Springer Spaniel Liver & White (Age: Adult)

POPPY REUNITED ❤️: Female English Springer Spaniel LIVER & WHITE (Age: Older Adult)

LILLY REUNITED 🐾❤️🐾, Female English Springer Spaniel Liver & White (Age: Older Adult)

DUSTER RIP 🐾💔🐾 Male English Springer Spaniel (Older Adult)

Facebook group:

#PetTheftReform #FernsLaw #PetAbduction #DogTheft #MakeChipsCount