A DOG owner who was reunited with her beloved pet almost two weeks after she went missing has expressed her gratitude to the hundreds of strangers who helped get her back.
Kay Rogage set up a group on social networking site Facebook after two-year-old boxer Jessie was accidentally let out of her Forest Hall home on July 28.
Within a day it had more than 800 members and as Kay, 35, spent hours every day scouring the streets for Jessie, people she had never met set about distributing posters across North Tyneside and beyond.
“It was just amazing,” she said. “People just kept adding their friends and spreading the word.
“The group had nearly 1,200 members in the end.
“I know about 100 people in the group, the rest are people I have never seen in my life.”
And all their hard work paid off when, on Tuesday, Kay received a series of phone calls from a man and his girlfriend who said they had Jessie.
The man, who said he bought the dog in good faith, eventually arranged to meet up with Kay in a car park in Byker, where Jessie was handed back on payment of a cash reward.
Kay said: “I gave them the money as I didn’t want to jeopardise getting Jessie back, but I do believe that what goes around comes around.”
The researcher, who lives with partner John Lilley, 39, a manufacturing technician, said she was “absolutely overwhelmed” by the help she received.
She said “There must have been about 2,000 people looking for my dog.
“Less the two people who had her, it has restored my faith in humanity and I can’t thank them enough.
“But in the end it was the publicity that got her back.
“Whoever had her saw it in the News Guardian and it made her too hot to handle.
“This has also made me aware of how many dogs go missing and what their owners go through.”
She added: “I would never have given up on finding Jessie, and it’s such a relief to have her back.
“Random people have been stopping us on our walk this morning, just to say hello.”