Toy poodle named Jet reunited with family after going missing in the snow
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
An 11-year-old toy poodle named Jet has been reunited with her overjoyed owners in Ardleigh six weeks after she disappeared.
A huge search operation was launched in Ardleigh and the surrounding villages to find Jet - who was wearing a bright red coat - but despite a number of suspected sightings she was never found, and the snow made searching for her even more difficult.
Her family never gave up hope and continued to leave Jet's toys and bed out to try and guide her home as the icy conditions thawed.
But it wasn't until yesterday - more than six weeks after she went missing - that Jet was finally reunited with her family.
She was handed into the Dogs Trust team by a man who had noticed her "looking lost" in the same spot near his home in Basildon for the last few days.
The man searched the internet and found multiple posts about Jet being missing on Facebook, so he called her name and she quickly responded.
He took her to the Dogs Trust team in Basildon, where they scanned her for a microchip and contacted her owners.
Romea Cafasso and husband David Thompson, said they "didn't quite believe it" when they got the phone call more than six weeks after she went missing.
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"We didn't tell our daughters as we didn't want to give them false hope, so we drove up on Monday afternoon but once we saw her, we knew it was definitely Jet," said Ms Cafasso, who works as a teacher.
"She is a little bit skinny and very fluffy, but we could tell it was her straight away."
Ms Cafasso said Jet was found without her red coat or collar on - which she would not have been able to take off herself - but she does not appear to be frightened and has settled straight back into her normal routine.
"She was quite nervous during the car journey home, but she has never liked being in the car," said Ms Cafasso.
"We then gave her a chicken dinner and she slept on the sofa all evening and has already been out on two dog walks.
"It's really wonderful to have her home and we are so thankful to everyone who has helped. Everyone in the village has been amazing."
Lisa Cooper, the rehoming centre manager at Dogs Trust Basildon, said her team was "over the moon" to be able to reunite Jet with her owners.
“Jet was found wandering alone and was brought into us by a caring member of the public – who we can’t thank enough," she explained.
"We scanned her chip and contacted her owners and found that they have been searching for her for several weeks.
“She went missing in the snow in early February and at 11 years old her owners were obviously fearing the worst.
“Microchipping your dog – and keeping their details up to date - is the most important thing an owner can do to ensure they can be re-united with their pet if they are separated and it’s now a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in England, Scotland and Wales.”
Jet has since been snuggling up with the family's other dog Morgan, and Ms Cafasso's two daughters Ella, Thompson, 16, and Carys Thompson, 13, who are overjoyed to have her home safely.
She is now getting ready for a trip to the groomers to get back to looking her usual self.