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Holly the missing Collie is home at last

AFTER NEARLY four years on the run Holly the collie cross has finally been caught in Liskeard, Cornwall.

Adopted from Manchester Dogs' Home by David and Nicola Hunt, Holly went missing in May 2002. The pet had been staying in kennels near Nicola's parents' home in the Liskeard area while the Hunts were on honeymoon.

Over the years Holly has managed to give everyone the slip from her owners to Caradon District Council's dog wardens and RSPCA inspectors. She had also resolutely avoided traps, nets and even laced with tranquillisers.

Holly has been spotted many times since going on the run. On one occasion Caradon's dog wardens even saw her stroll calmly past their office and set off in hot pursuit, but Holly escaped yet again.

Her owners spent numerous weekends travelling from their home near Macclesfield, Cheshire to the Liskeard area to search for Holly and eventually moved home to South East Cornwall to continue the hunt.

Checkie Taylor, Caradon's senior animal welfare officer, said: "With the best intentions in the world, no one could catch this dog. We all tried many times and failed. Once we had her surrounded by three RSPCA inspectors and two dog wardens, and she still managed to get away."

But Holly's roaming days are now over thanks to a quick thinking Liskeard couple. Holly wandered through their open back door into their kitchen one morning last month, ate a bowl of food and lay down by the fire in their living room. The pair recognised her from her picture in the paper and immediately shut her in and rang Caradon's dog wardens.

Holly was placed safely in protective custody, and Caradon's dog wardens reunited her with her owners in a happy reunion.

Caradon dog warden Jon Lane said: "You can't ask for a happier ending than this one."