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Dog lost in bus driver mix-up

A DOG has gone missing thanks to the actions of a bus driver who opened his bus doors to allow the unaccompanied dog to jump off the bus, even though its owner shouted to the driver not to do so.

Brandy is a one-year-old rescued Shar-pei, owned by Tom Powell of Rochdale. Although she was a lively dog and prone to running off in the local park when released from her lead, Brandy would always circle back to Tom. She had been responding well to a regular regime of training and socialising, which included regular walks into Rochdale town centre for shopping trips and then returning to Tom’s home by bus.

However on one such trip last events took an unexpected turn. "She was sitting at the back of the bus with me as good as gold, when all of a sudden she jerked the lead out of my hand and ran to the front of the bus," Tom told Our Dogs. "Something had spooked her and she just ran. I struggled to get after her as I had several bags of shopping with me. The driver had stopped at the next bus stop along after Rochdale railway station when Brandy ran up. He looked at the dog and she looked at him. She wasn’t barking or aggressive, and she obviously belonged to a passenger, as her lead was attached to her collar. I just couldn’t believe what he did next – he just opened the bus doors and she jumped off, then he started to drive on. I shouted out to him to stop, but he didn’t stop until he was about a couple of hundred yards along the road, then he let me off."

Tom didn’t have time to remonstrate with the driver, who made no comment and simply drove on after Tom got off, and he gave chase to Brandy who was running across open ground alongside the main road. Despite Tom’s best efforts, he soon lost sight of Brandy and was unable to find her. He went back home to drop his shopping off then returned to the area and searched for several hours, asking passers-by whether they had seen the dog, but apart form one man who had seen her running along earlier, nobody had seen her.

Since then, Tom has informed the missing pet registry Doglost UK and the police, dog wardens, rescue centres, vets and the Highways Agency, whilst putting up posters around the town and in shops. However, there have been no reports of Brandy being found or even seen.
It seems likely that Brandy has been found by someone who may have kept her or maybe even sold her on. She is microchipped and was wearing a collar and address tag, so whoever found her would have been able to identify where she had come from.

"I just hope whoever’s got her is looking after her," Tom told OUR DOGS. "I suppose they realise she’s a reasonably rare, pedigree dog, so she might be worth something to sell. I’ve heard how sometimes dogs can be ransomed back to their owners, or suddenly ‘discovered’ if there’s a reward on offer, but I’ve been advised not to publicly offer a reward for her, as this encourages the thieves. Of course I’d be very grateful for her safe return."

Tom has complained to the bus company, First Mainline, about the driver’s irresponsible actions, but is currently waiting a response. Nobody from the company was available for comment.

l If you have any information regarding Brandy, please contact Tom Powell on: 01706 515900, or contact Doglost UK on: 01302 743361, website: