‘Christmas had been cancelled since he went missing, but now Christmas is back on’

- Advertisement -

Debbie Wood praised the dozens of Islanders who joined the search for Winston and said that the show of community spirit had ‘restored her faith in humanity’.

The operation came to a happy end at 9.45 pm on Wednesday, when the eight-year-old dog was discovered in a rabbit hole two metres underground. He was then reunited with his emotional owner. Mrs Wood said that Winston went missing in the sand dunes in St Ouen’s Bay on Sunday lunchtime while she was walking him. Her husband then posted a message on the Jersey Dog Forum Facebook group asking people to help with the search.

Mrs Wood said that she was exhausted but relieved to be reunited with Winston.

‘Christmas had been cancelled since he went missing, but now Christmas is back on and my family and I couldn’t be any happier,’ she said.

‘I want to thank all of the amazing people who gave up their time to help us find him.’

Islander JJ Gallagher, who helped to search for the dog, described the rescue mission as the ‘purest form of Island community spirit’.

He said: ‘I could not believe the outpouring of support we got from the community – it was just unbelievable. The vast majority of people who came to help us didn’t know Debbie or Winston, but had either read about the story in the JEP or saw it online.’

Islanders who joined the search included the States countryside rangers, as well as the team from Drainway Services in St Mary, who donated camera equipment.

Mr Gallagher added: ‘By Wednesday people started to turn up out of every direction offering to help in any way that they could, as well as bringing food and tea to keep us all going.

‘At one stage I turned around and there was a woman coming towards me carrying a tray with a full tea set.’

Mr Gallagher’s dog Sammie was brought in to smell around different burrows to narrow down the search.

He said: ‘After one of the park rangers heard him [Winston] barking underground we cut into the rabbit hole under their supervision. The Drainway team operated the cameras underground until we located him five-and-a-half hours after we first heard him barking.

‘I put my fingers through a mouse hole in the dune and the next thing Winston’s little nose popped out and he forced himself out of a hole no bigger than his head.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.