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Have You Seen Shayla?


A rescued Lurcher named Shayla has allegedly been rehomed without the permission of the rescue organisation who originally homed her – and OUR DOGS readers are being asked to keep an eye out for her, now that she is believed to be residing somewhere in Wales.

Shayla came to England in January 2004 from an animal rescue centre in Ireland having been badly mistreated by her previous owners to the extend that she was hardly able to walk as she was too weak, nor would she eat or drink. She was also very depressed and ran a high temperature. Her rescuers began a process of veterinary treatment to which Shayla responded well.

Alyson Sowden who regularly fosters and rehomes neglected dogs in the West Country saw Shayla’s photograph in an e-mail put out by the Irish rescue organisation. "It broke my heart to see a dog so sad and broken so I emailed the rescue and offered her a foster home here in Devon," said Alyson. "To be honest I had never fostered a dog that had been so badly neglected, I have taken in a few dogs from Ireland before but none as bad as her."

Alyson put out Shayla’s details to the rescue community and was duly contacted by a couple called Paul and Stella who ran a canine charity in the South east, who offered Shayla a home, which Alyson accepted. The couple changed Shayla’s name to Osiris and sent Alyson photographs of her in her new home happily playing with their other rescued dogs.

Just after Christmas, the couple separated; Stella went to live in Wales and took Shayla with her. Stella wanted to keep Shayla, so Alyson told her that if at any time she couldn't cope to let her know and she would take Shayla back.

Alyson continues: "About eight weeks ago now Stella informed me that she had rehomed Shayla to an elderly man in her road after she had bitten her mother and son. This really didn't sit right with me, I knew Shayla would never do anything like that unless she had been very stressed or something had been done to her. Then I got a call from another rescue charity to let me know that Shayla (Osiris at the time) had been handed in to Llanelli Dogs Home by Stella three weeks ago and had been rehomed – something Stella had failed to mention!

"Since that day myself and a group of other people from different rescues across the UK have done everything we can to try and find her. We have spoken to the owner of Llanelli dogs’ home I have told him Shayla's story, he has seen pictures of her but has refused to give me any information on where she really is. He informed me that she had been rehomed to a lady in Carmarthen who had two other dogs, then was later informed that she had been rehomed to a family in the Llanelli area. I have spoken to the police, contacted newspapers and had friends place posters up in the Llanelli area to try and find her. But I have now hit a brick wall.

"I have now decided that we now are going to offer a substantial reward for any info on her whereabouts. I was worried about how I would find this kind of money as I only work part time as a carer. But I would love nothing more than to find out where she is and make sure she is safe and well. I made a promise to her and I wont be able to rest until I find her."

If you can help Alyson locate Shayla, please contact her on: 01626-865479 or e-mail alyson_sowden@hotmail.com