Reunited! Smudge found five days after going missing on Christmas Eve

Smudge the Toy Cockapoo has been reunited with his family after going missing in Ipswich

Smudge the Toy Cockapoo has been reunited with his family after going missing in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A family's beloved Toy Cockapoo has been reunited with his owners in time for the new year after going missing while on a run in an Ipswich park.

Smudge, aged one and a half, was out with his owner Sam Mitson in Orwell Country Park on Christmas Eve when he suddenly disappeared into some woodland.

Mr Mitson, his wife Rachel and their daughter launched an urgent appeal to find their pet, posting on social media and placing posters in and around the park, which they returned to every day.

Unbeknownst to the family from Dorset, Smudge was still in the park.

He was discovered in the brambles by a woman and two young boys five days later, prompting an emotional reunion.

The family has been staying with loved ones in Ipswich for Christmas but were facing the prospect of returning home without Smudge.

Smudge went missing while on a run with Mr Mitson in Orwell Country Park in Ipswich

Smudge went missing while on a run with Mr Mitson in Orwell Country Park in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Mitson said he was "in tears" when he was finally reunited with Smudge after receiving a call on Wednesday evening.

He said: "We're overwhelmed — it's been a hectic five days.

The family, who are from Dorset, were worried they would have to return home without Smudge

The family, who are from Dorset, were worried they would have to return home without Smudge - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Most Read

"We heard that someone had spotted a dog in the woods in the park, and a lady and two boys got him out of the brambles.

"I was in tears when I saw him. We are very surprised to see him in such a good condition. We took him to the vets and he's lost a little bit of weight, but apart from that he's fine.

Smudge the cockapoo has been reunited with his family after going missing six days ago on Christmas

The Mitsons were staying in Ipswich for the Christmas period - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"I think it helped that the weather was not freezing for the last few days. I don't think he's eaten at all, but he had a lot to eat when we got him back in."

Mr Mitson said Smudge would likely only be found with a drone, if he had not been stolen.

The couple paid tribute to the Ipswich community for their help in the search for Smudge over the festive period.

The one-year-old pooch survived for five days in the park

The one-year-old pooch survived for five days in the park - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Mitson added: "If it wasn't for people looking, we wouldn't have found him. We are just so pleased about how many people took an interest, especially at Christmas. People gave up so much time."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter