Two distraught dog owners searching for their missing Dachshunds have turned rescuers as the campaign to find their beloved pets intensifies.
Douglas and Teressa Saunders from Upper Dicker, East Sussex, have been searching for mother and pup Elfie and Huxley since February when they went missing at Hollingbury Golf Course in Brighton.
“We're desperate to have them back," said Mrs Saunders. "You wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, thinking of what could have happened.”
Having raised both Elfie and Huxley from puppies, there has been no sighting of either since February.
Following up a possible sighting even led to the couple saving three mistreated Dachshunds from a puppy farm at a personal cost of more than £5,000 after vet fees as they could not bear to leave them in such appalling conditions.
One of the rescued dogs died shortly after, having been diagnosed with Parvovirus, a contagious disease which affects non-vaccinated pets.
The Saunders have urged the public not to buy dogs from puppy farms or support the unregulated trade in often mistreated animals.
Dawn Goulden, a trustee at Harvey's Army, a charity which supports searches for lost dogs, said members of the public would often find stray animals and keep them, not knowing what else to do.
"At the moment there just seem to be so many that aren't able to get home. It's heartbreaking," she said, and urged owners to keep their pet's microchip contact details regularly updated.
Any information can be reported to the Saunders on 07472 362262 or Harvey's Army on 07833 727975.