Mystery as dogs disappear

PUBLISHED: 15:02 13 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

A DISTRAUGHT Suffolk mother told today how a walk in the woods turned into a nightmare when two beloved pet dogs disappeared as she heard an ear-piercing howl.

A DISTRAUGHT Suffolk mother told today how a walk in the woods turned into a nightmare when two beloved pet dogs disappeared as she heard an ear-piercing howl.

Mystery surrounds the disappearance of Toffee, the adorable tan and cream Beagle, and Henry, the black Labrador, who have not been seen since Sunday, August 5.

Mum-of-one Lorraine Florence said she is going out of her mind with worry and has covered every avenue in her desperate search.

"It's like they have just disappeared off the face of the earth. I heard a howl and it sounded like Toffee had been hurt but there was no blood, no body," she said.

"If someone has taken them I just want them to know what heartache they have caused. I haven't left the house since they went. I haven't got any shopping in. I wake up at 2am and think I can hear them and I go running downstairs but they're not there."

Mrs Florence, 42, who lives on Stone Street, Hadleigh with her husband Robert, 40, and their two-year-old son Drew was taking the two dogs for a walk in woods at the back of her house when they went missing.

Henry, who is four, has been with the family since he was a puppy but Toffee, two, belongs to Mrs Florence's sister Maureen Moore and her family who were away on holiday at the time.

The Moore family, of Stockton Close, Hadleigh returned to Suffolk on August 9 only to hear the news that Toffee had been missing for five days.

Mum Maureen, 34, dad Nigel, 48, and kids Harrison, 12, and Ashleigh, ten, joined in the search and spent their first day back home scouring fields and woods not far from the Kersey Mill area where the dogs were last seen.

Mrs Florence is offering a £500 reward for the return of the animals. She has had appeals for help broadcast on a local radio station and printed scores of posters, but has had no response.

She said: "We moved here in on March 1 but it's not like the dogs don't know the area. We do that walk almost every day. I heard Toffee scream it was like she was being hurt. Then I heard a howl. It was really loud and echoed right through the woods. I started calling their names and went looking for them."

The duo went missing around 8.30am and Mrs Florence spent the next 13 hours combing the area in her Land Rover. She has contacted farmers in the area, called the police and even been to see travellers staying in Boxford in case they had seen the animals – but all to no avail.

Worried Ashleigh said: "Toffee likes barking and chewing things. He has wax in his ears – but everyone loves him."

Henry, who was wearing a tan collar when he went missing, has a small micro-chip inserted under his skin which will show up when scanned.

Anyone with any information or advice is asked to contact Mrs Florence on 07761053915.

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