A family has been left devastated after their adored family pet went missing.
Sarah Collin and her family had been away on holiday, leaving their pet dogs with their neighbour.
But just two hours before they returned to their home in Greenock Road, Owton Manor, Hartlepool, one of their dogs, a white bichon frise bitch, went missing.
The two-year-old pet had been in the front garden of the property where she had been staying, bordered by a low wall, on the morning of Saturday, June 13, at 8.30am.
Sarah, 30, believes someone has either leaned over the wall and swiped the dog, or she has jumped over the wall and wandered off, later getting lost.
Sarah and her four children Ethan Baker, 11, Nathan Baker, nine, Thomas Baker, five, and Lola Baker, two, are devastated.
They have launched a Facebook search for the dog – which they do not want to name in case she has been stolen – and have pinned up posters in the area where they live.
Sarah said the dog has been chipped and has also been spayed so she would be no use for breeding.
She told the Mail: “Our neighbour was looking after her while we were away on holiday.
“He had put her out in the front garden, and he was with her, but then he went inside for a few seconds, and when he came back, she was gone.
“He feels terrible. It’s just awful.
“We arrived back home about 10.30am, and the kids were so looking forward to seeing her.
“Nothing usually bothers my eldest son, but he’s cried himself to sleep every night since. I don’t really want to give the dog’s name in case someone has got her, because then they’ll know what to call her.
“We’ve looked everywhere and put posters up all over, and put an appeal on Facebook. I just don’t know what else to do.
“There has been a couple of sightings of someone walking a bichon frise on a rope over by Wynyard Mews, but I’ve been over there myself a couple of times and couldn’t see anything.
“I just want to urge people to keep their eyes open for her, or even if someone has been sold a bichon frise over the last couple of days, or if you see someone with one, who didn’t have one last week.”
Sarah said there is a reward being offered for her return.
Anyone with information can ring her on 0778 0795139.