‘Your dog is dead’ – Owner of missing Derbyshire Sprocker Spaniel Blue brutally targeted by hoax calls as search continues
The heartbroken owner of a missing Derbyshire dog has told how she has been brutally targeted by pranksters, with one cruel caller even claiming the pooch is dead.
Blue the Sprocker Spaniel went missing from the Pic Tor area of Matlock on June 14 after what is believed to have been a distraction theft.
A dedicated Facebook page, called ‘Bring Blue Back Home’, was set up after the incident and many people have kindly passed on information and potential leads in the campaign to help locate the elderly dog.
His owner, Jane Mercer, has also shared her phone number online and through missing posters – but sadly cruel pranksters have targeted the 65-year-old who described the past nine weeks as like a “rollercoaster”.
She said: “It’s been like a rollercoaster. We’ve got quite a good Facebook campaign going, Bring Blue Back Home. People have been absolutely tremendous in their comments and their generosity to share his poster and his pictures.
"[A woman called] Trish has been really good at sending us posts of dogs that have been found and that does boost us up with a positive feeling, that dogs are coming to light.
"But, we could be up one minute and down the next. To give you a scenario, we had a man call who said he was in Matlock and that he’d found Blue running by the side of the river and that he was outside an antiques shop and his last comment was something like ‘is there a reward for this dog?’.
"We did go down to a place that we agreed to meet but there was nobody with Blue. We’ve had several like that... you get your hopes up and it pushes you right back down again.”
"The latest one we had was someone just saying three words down the phone: ‘your dog’s dead’. They just put the phone down and never said anything else.”
Jane said she has also been left disappointed when people have genuinely reported potential sightings of Blue and they have amounted to nothing, but knows not everyone is doing it maliciously.
She added: “The few negative things, they are awful, but the positivity that we’ve had has been tremendous and we’ve been humbled by people’s comments.”
Jane was walking Blue and Pebble on a footpath through the woods in Pic Tor when she was approached by a man at around 12.30pm on Monday, June 14.
The man engaged Jane in a conversation about footpaths and directed her gaze away from Blue, who was off the lead.
He then left and Jane realised her spaniel had disappeared – and despite searches of the area, including ones using drones with help of Derbyshire Dog SOS, has not been seen since.
Speaking previously to the Derbyshire Times, Jane revealed how Blue had been a beacon of light during her treatment for breast cancer last August as she urged those who have the 13-year-old spaniel to “do the right thing.”
She added: "We chose to have the dogs, they’re our responsibility and to a certain degree I feel like I’ve let him down.
“If he’s not found this will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Anyone with information on Blue’s whereabouts should contact Derbyshire police, quoting reference 21*336687.