DUP's Wells in appeal to help find lost pet
A former Stormont Health Minister has made an emotional appeal to help find his beloved pet dog.
Three-year-old Poppy went missing a month ago and Jim Wells, whose wife suffered a devastating series of strokes earlier this year, is desperate to know that she is safe and well.
The black and white short-haired collie was being cared for by a friend in Kilkeel, Co Down, when she managed to escape from an outdoor shed.
The South Down MLA explained: "The house really turned to chaos after Grace had the stroke and during one spell, when she was particularly unwell, a friend offered to help us out.
"She took Poppy for us, but a month ago she went missing.
"I don't think anything untoward has happened to her, she is such a pleasant and friendly little dog that I think someone has found her and kept her." Mrs Wells suffered a series of devastating strokes at the beginning of the year and her heartbroken family was warned on several occasions that she would not survive.
However, she has defied medics' predictions and is now undergoing intensive rehabilitation at a nursing home.
"You could say I am due some good news," said Mr Wells, who is under police investigation after he was accused of making homophobic remarks at an event in April.
"We had two dogs, Mollie and Poppy, and sadly Mollie had a stroke in December and we had to have her put down.
"I was Health Minister at the time and I remember being driven along in the ministerial car and being so upset.
"Of course, we had no idea at that stage what a huge effect stroke would have on the family in the very near future.
"I would very much like to know that Poppy is OK."
The dog is micro-chipped.