A rescue dog missing for over two weeks in Dundee has been reunited with her delighted and relieved owners.
Rottweiler Alana, brought over as a foster dog from Spain, was spooked and fled during a walk on Christmas Day.
A specialist team however managed to locate her in the park and streets around Balgay Hill before successfully capturing her.
She is one of several dogs owner Emma Gray looks after temporarily with the aim of rehabilitating and finding them a new home.
As well as helping the dogs, fostering also eases anxiety in Emma’s two daughters who have autism — though none of the dogs from Spain are therapy dogs.
Emma said Alana is doing well and settling back in at home.
She said: “We’re all hugely relieved that Alana is back home with us after her ordeal.
“She’s enjoying hot meals and a cosy bed. She recognised us right away and we are happy to say she is starting to bond with us again.”
She added the family have decided to keep her as a pet permanently.
Canine Capture UK, who were hired to capture exhausted Alana, used Remote Chemical Injection (RCI) techniques to immobilise her.
The process saw her shot with a dart projector filled with a sedative before being checked over by a vet within half an hour.
Dog trainer Jessie Probst assisted the family in the search.
She said: “An older gentleman aged 87 living locally really helped.
“He was feeding foxes and Alana at the same time every night so the team was able to understand her movements.
“He is a lovely, lovely, guy.
“Canine Capture UK were really professional and very organised.”
Money raised will also go towards ensuring Alana’s “safe future, ongoing health care, psychological therapy, and physical needs”.
This includes reinforced fencing, baby gates and safety dens.
Search saw one man allegedly assaulted
The search was not without its issues as one man was allegedly assaulted amid rising tensions over how best to capture Alana.
In the two weeks following her disappearance, volunteers from an online group flocked to Camperdown Park and subsequently Balgay Park, in a bid to trace her.
It led to disagreements between those from the group, named Missing Pets, Dundee & Angus, and Alana’s owners and their friends.
The issues centred on concerns the mass effort was hampering the search and scaring Alana off.
Police say a 47-year-old, who is understood to be a member of the social media group, has been charged in connection with an assault at Logie Street, near Balgay Park.
Kaye Walker, director of Canine Capture UK, said the company arrived to take over the hunt the day after the alleged incident.
She said such a search effort should only be conducted by those with training.
She said: “We don’t wish to have personal spats with anybody.
“When people don’t know what they are doing, it can become difficult and personalities clash.
“We just hope people have the ability to recognise that perhaps they didn’t have the ability to handle the situation.
“And rather than argue about it, seek correct advice and move forward in a positive way.”
What are those involved in the search saying about the altercation?
A spokesperson for Missing, Pets Dundee & Angus, which organised a search team alongside members of the public, did not comment on the alleged altercation, but said: “We are absolutely thrilled Alana is now safe and warm and off the streets after her ordeal. That’s what everyone wanted.”
Ms Probost, who is not involved with the Facebook group and was assisting the owners, said everyone wishes to move on from the incident.
She said: “We have all made mistakes in the search and we should move on from it now.
“The paid professionals come up with a plan, keep you involved in the loop, give you clear guidance and most importantly get the job done.”
A police spokesperson said: “A 47-year-old man was charged in connection with an assault which happened at Logie Street in Dundee on Thursday, 7 January, 2021”.