Rhodesian Ridgeback: Mother offers £10,000 cash reward after spending TWO YEARS searching for beloved family pet
- Debbie Spalton first suffered heartache when she had to leave Kito with family friends when she left for Dubai
- Then Kito went missing from his new home
- She's spent £6,000 already looking for him including contacting a psychic
- Has now begged for detectives' help to find the Rhodesian Ridgeback
By SABI PHAGURA
PUBLISHED: 08:47 EST, 4 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:48 EST, 4 September 2012
The good old days: Debbie (left) and Kito were inseparable before he went missing
A dedicated pet owner who lost her beloved dog two years ago is offering a staggering £10,000 reward just to find out what happened to him.
Animal lover Debbie Spalton has spent more than £6,000 delivering thousands of leaflets, knocking doors and flying back and forth from her Dubai home to find her dog Kito.
She has even got the attention of pet care retail giant Pets At Home and celebrity vet Joe Inglis.
Mrs Spalton is now also getting help from former
policeman turned pet detective Tom Watkins, as well as trying animal
psychics and tracker dogs.
And now with Tom's help she's even got a video van - usually used in police MISSING PERSON searches - to drive around the Midlands beaming video footage of her lost dog.
After getting the Rhodesian Ridgeback as a puppy in 2004 Debbie had the heartache of leaving him in the UK on a farm with friends after she married her pilot husband and moved to the Middle East.
The former helicopter instructor knew Kito wouldn't have a life in her 23rd floor apartment or be able to cope with 50C summer heat so found him a 'doggy heaven' on a farm in Rugeley, Staffs.
But on August 7 2010 Kito disappeared from the farm a day after he'd gone missing for several hours before returning 'agitated' and 'glad to be home'.
Scroll down to see the missing dog appeal video
Reward: Distraught pet owner puts up the cash reward in a bid to find Kito even though thousands have been spent already.
On the hunt: Detectives Matthew Massey (left) and Tom Watkins are helping search for Kito and the car used to find missing pets
Mrs Spalton still fights back the tears talking about her 'baby' and said the reward was for any information that would let her know what has happened to him.
The 55-year-old, who lives with Emirates pilot husband Rupert, said using the video van - which toured the Midlands on Friday - was her final push to find Kito who now would be around 11 years old.
She said: 'For people who think it's "just a dog" I would say he was my baby, he and dogs like him are part of the family, he used to sleep on my bed.
'When I had to move to Dubai it was heart-breaking leaving Kito behind but our friend Sian and her family had a farm and I knew him living there would be much more dog friendly than a 23rd floor apartment and 50 degree heat, it was 'doggy heaven'.
Just playing around: Debbie and Kito used to have lots of fun together before she had to leave him to go to Dubai
Part of the family - Kito had finally settled down with his new owner Sian on the farm in Rugeley, Staffs
'Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very loyal friendly dogs, they were bred to protect farms in Africa so they are protective but Kito is the most loving dog.
'When I went to Dubai Kito was welcomed into a lovely home where he was loved and cared for for six years - longer than he was with me.
These are just some of the extreme lengths Debbie Spalton went to in order to find her dog...
- Carried out door-to-door inquiries
- Newspaper ads and radio appeals
- Pet retail giant Pets At Home poster campaign
- Over 6,000 leaflets delivered with every order by celeb vet Joe Inglis (pictured below)
- 'Missing Packs' sent to police, councils, animal rescue centres, local schools
- Launched a Facebook page
- Used animal psychics
- Enlisting help of a detective
'They took him in and he was their beloved boy. Sian in particular was devastated when he went missing from under her nose, he was her best friend.
'On the farm he would always be close to Sian guarding her, then the day before he went missing they couldn't find him for several hours and when he did come back he was agitated and very glad to be home it seemed.
'He disappeared the next day. I now think his behaviour the day before could have been because someone had befriended him and kept him somewhere perhaps in preparation to take him away.
'I feel like I have let him down, I know £10,000 is a lot of money and it's all the savings I have.
'The reward is because I need to know what has happened to Kito, he might still be suffering now, he might be dead, we need to know.
'The reward is for any information, we just need to get some closure.'
When Kito first went missing Mrs Spalton flew back to the UK and met with Tom Watkins - a former policeman turned pet detective - who runs the UK's biggest missing pet service Animal Search UK.
Mrs Spalton added: "Tom has been amazing, he helped me organise the search for Kito and we have never given up.
'Tom has even agreed to drive the video van around for next to nothing, this could be the final push to find Kito as he would be getting older now.'
When Kito went missing he a missing lower front tooth, a scratched face from a previous altercation with a badger and a scarred tip of his right ear. He is also chipped.
Pet detective Tom Watkins said Debbie's determination and the lengths she has gone to find Kito were the most he has ever seen.
He said: 'What Debbie has done to find Kito is remarkable and a real testament to love she has for him, she has spent thousands and even flown back to the UK to search for him.'
MISSING DOG! Debbie would beam this appeal video around the Midlands
Headlines Newsview all
Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day
A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story
Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter
An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story
Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'
A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
Iran has launched an anti-Isis cartoon competition, inviting submissions from around the world which mock the militant group and the atrocities it has committed. Organisers said ...
Maria de Villota: Marussia will not face action over the Duxford runway crash that led to F1 driver's death
Former Formula 1 team Marussia will not face any action over the testing crash that saw the late Maria de Villota lose her right eye, ...
Russia's military defence has taken to the skies for a massive - and unexpected - air force exercise. In a sign of ongoing tensions over ...
Isis fighters desperate to blow themselves up in the name of jihad are accusing senior militants of favouring friends and relatives by putting them on ...
The actor Omar Sharif, best known for his roles in Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The 83-year-old Egyptian-born star’s ...
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
The female Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt off an eight-year-old boy during the League One play-off final has insisted "the truth ...
Russell Brand pours scorn over 'dubious' financial contribution to UK economy made by 'lizard illuminati Royal Family'
Russell Brand has reminded everyone – once again – how much he dislikes the “lizard illuminati Royal Family” of Britain. Speaking on his video blog ...
Videos emerge showing massive tornadoes and severe flooding following deadly Texas and Oklahoma storms
Videos have emerged from Texas and Oklahoma showing the severe flooding and massive tornadoes that have wreaked havoc across the two states over the weekend ...
The business secretary has told mobile phone network O2 to “sort it out” after customers complained that their phones had no signal. Sajid Javid, who was ...
It's not often a politician is left flummoxed on live television. It's even rarer when they announce a change in government policy at the same ...