Belfast Telegraph

Tears of joy as Anna reunited with her dog after four years

Riley with Anna, who says she plans to ‘spoil her rotten’
Riley with Anna, who says she plans to ‘spoil her rotten’
Riley the dog
A delighted Anna is reunited with Riley
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

A dog owner whose beloved pet went missing nearly four years ago has spoken of her joy after they were reunited.

Anna McKavanagh was devastated when her dog Riley went missing from her farm in Crumlin in 2015.

The Patterdale cross-breed was just nine months old when she went missing from the farm on Moira Road.

Anna never expected to see Riley again, even though she had been micro-chipped.

But last Tuesday a miracle happened.

She was told that Riley had been discovered in Castlewellan and had been taken to Corran Kennels in Downpatrick.

Anna received an email from Helen Marks, who runs the kennels, saying she had been brought in by a member of the public.

"It was so emotional," Anna told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I never thought I would see or hear from her ever again.

"I was up at my dad's in Nutts Corner but I was straight down the road to get her."

There were emotional scenes as Anna and her pet were reunited.

"I couldn't believe she was still as soft-natured as she was when I had her as a puppy," Anna said.

"She was such a gentle dog and she still is. She definitely recognised me."

Anna believes that Riley was stolen from the farm in 2015 and was then abandoned by whoever took her.

"We couldn't find a trace of her, it was seriously emotional," she said.

"We shared it everywhere on Facebook continuously to try and find her, but there was no sign.

"Nearly four years down the line, I never thought I would get an email or a phone call to say she had been found."

Riley is now settling in well with Anna at her new home in Londonderry.

Anna, who works in a pet shop in Derry, said she will be "spoiling her rotten".

"When I first saw her she was so much bigger," she said.

"I had been imagining her as still being a puppy. We have three other dogs, so she is just getting used to them. It will take time. I am absolutely spoiling her rotten. She is not getting let out of my sight."

Anna also spoke of the importance of micro-chipping pets. "It is so important to do it. People should 100% chip their pets and add your contact details to it."

Helen Marks, who runs Corran Kennels in Downpatrick, said: "On Tuesday a gentleman found her straying in the Castlewellan area and brought her to the kennels.

"We scanned her and discovered that she was chipped, but unfortunately the phone number wasn't up-to-date.

"Luckily her owner had added an email address and had posted a lovely photo of Riley. We sent an email and there were tears of joy all round when they were reunited. A very happy ending."

Corran Kennels has been the kennelling contractor for Ards, North Down and Down District Councils for 13 years, with more than 13,000 dogs passing through the kennels in that time.

The kennels seek to re-home dogs that are found straying or when owners can no longer look after them.

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