A hunt is appealing for information after one of its bloodhounds went missing at the weekend.
Alison and Russet went missing from a meet of the Coakham Bloodhounds, who hunt “the cleanboot” by following a human scent laid by a man or woman who runs ahead of the pack, on Sunday (3 March) around 3pm in the Cowden area of Kent.
Russet has been found but two-year-old Alison, who is black and tan, is still missing.
Paul Hollis, one of the joint masters, told H&H the last confirmed sighting was Tuesday (5 March) around 5pm in Chiddingstone Causeway, Kent.
“Someone we know tried to approach her but she ran off. [When lost] hounds go into survival mode and basically go feral because they don’t know where they are or who to trust,” said Paul.
“A lot of the time they spend sleeping, as dogs do, but they have to go out to the toilet at some point so we just have to keep driving round and hope someone is lucky enough to see her out in the open – if she stays in the woods the whole time it’s going to be very difficult to find her.”
Paul said it’s “very unusual” for a hound to go missing.
“I’ve hunted with the Coakham Bloodhounds for seven years and we’ve never come home without one hound, nevermind two. At the end of a day you might occasionally have to find a hound that’s got tired, but this has never happened before,” he said.
“The first place I check every morning is where the meet was, which is 25 miles from the kennels, and the farmer there is very good and keeps an eye out for us. I’ve been into all of the local businesses and pubs in the area and speak to anyone I see working or walking.
“We’ve made up posters to put around the area and the idea is as soon as someone sees her, the huntsman Nic Wheeler, or myself who she knows very well will get straight up there. Nic will take another hound and his horn with him and try and get her to come over.”
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“We’re touched by the amount of effort people have gone to. People have been searching all over the place and even been out with thermal imaging cameras. Facebook has been amazing and people have been sharing it for us.”
Huntsman Nic Wheeler told H&H: “We‘ve contacted all of the relevant authorities and numerous supporters have been out every day looking. The supporters have been tremendous giving up their time driving round the countryside and walking round woods looking for her, there’s nothing more we can do until someone spots her.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the hunt via their website www.coakhambloodhounds.org.uk.
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