A British family in the UAE is offering a cash reward of Dh2,000 and is ready to even double it to anyone who can help find their dog which went missing on August 22.
A nation-wide hunt is on to find ‘Buddy’, a three-year-old Toy Poodle which went missing on Thursday.
The male dog (neutered) was last seen on August 22 near Majja markets in Sharjah’s Al Nassiyah area, Al Kuwait street close to the family’s villa.
The family has put out posters of pictures of Buddy across markets in Sharjah so people can identify him if they seem him on the street.
Speaking to Gulf News on Friday evening, Buddy’s owner, Lisa Sykes said the family relocated to the UAE from Switzerland only on Wednesday.
“We only arrived on Wednesday night and Buddy went missing next day. The family is completely distraught. We hope he is safe and we will find him soon.”
Gone missing in seconds
Lisa said, on Thursday – the day Buddy went missing – she had taken the car out to Dubai. “The gate was briefly opened when I was trying to get the car back in. The next minute he was out. He must have run out of the gate when it was open. I think he panicked and was looking for me. It all happened very fast. Basically he escaped through the gate.”
She said it was perhaps around 10 to 15 minutes before they realized Buddy was missing from the house. “At first we thought we were mistaken. Then when we did not find him at home, we started looking for him around the area. Then I started to panic as we could not find him. So I went on Facebook and posted the situation on Dogs in UAE and Dogs in Dubai. I needed advise on what to do next.”
Social media in a frenzy
Lisa said no sooner her post went on Facebook the social media went into a frenzy to find Buddy. “There were people who were driving in the Sharjah area and when they saw my post on Facebook, they offered to help.”
Not just that, but staff of the Victoria English school - where Lisa’s husband Keith Sykes works as Headmaster - have come together on the massive hunt for Buddy. The couple Lisa and Keith, have two three children, two of whom - Hebe Sykes (10) and son Sidney Sykes (9)- live in the UAE.
“The love and support we have received from the school staff has been amazing. We feel lucky that my husband is working at such a great school.”
School and community support
Carla Pozza, Head of Primary at Victoria English School said: “Our school has a reputation for its family feel and close support of staff and students. It is only natural that the school would do all it can to support in such circumstances. Victoria English Schools' senior management along with the office of the chairman of the board, Amin El Nizami were alerted of the situation with the Sykes family and immediately initiated contacts with local authorities and support groups to help them reunite with their beloved Buddy,” said Carla in a statement to Gulf News.
Lisa said: “Ms. Carla and Ms. Noorhan have been helping out preparing posters to find Buddy in three languages, English, Arabic and Urdu. The day Buddy went missing Ms. Carla drove up to our place straight from Dubai. I can’t thank Victoria English School and the members of Dogs in Dubai, Dogs in UAE and British Mums of Dubai enough for the love and support and care they have shown us. We hope Buddy is safe and will come to us soon.”
She said the community too has been offering a great support. In the last few days Buddy has gone missing, posters of him have been splashed all over Sharjah in the markets and mosques. “My husband went on Friday and spoke to people at the mosque handing them the posters. I cannot tell you what wonderful people they are. They said forget the cash reward, we only want to find the dog for you,” said Lisa.
“Am so happy we have come to live and work in the UAE. Indeed it is such a beautiful community. I know we would have realised this soon enough, but the whole incident with Buddy has just made us realise it faster.”
She said Kirsty Kavanagh from Pawsome Pets, an independent, British owned pet relocation company based in Dubai visited the family with her dogs to help find Buddy. “Someone came from Ras Al Khaimah and several from Dubai. Finding Buddy has become a team effort,” said Lisa.
“We have had taxi drivers stop in to enquire if we needed any help moving around in the city to find Buddy. Pictures of him are up on the windows of the shops at the market, barber shops.”
Vaccinations in place
Lisa said Buddy is up-to-date with all his vaccinations. Before the family moved to the UAE from Switzerland, they had to do all the necessary mandatory paperwork and vaccinations for Buddy.
“It was a very strict and detailed process we went through bringing him to the UAE. The rules are very strict in Switzerland to export an animal. He had to have his vaccinations up to date. He had to have his rabies vaccination. He also needed to see a government vet in Switzerland 24 hours before travel. We had to get it all okayed before his travel to the UAE.”
Buddy is also microchipped, according to Lisa.