A couple have been left devastated after a dog sitter lost their border collie while they were on holiday.
John and Julie Pearson went away for 10 days back in June, leaving the dog sitter to look after Fred.
However, after just four days of their trip, the couple were contacted to tell them that the 13-year-old had gone missing in Westbridge Park, in Staffordshire.
Distraught, John and Julie rushed back home from their vacation and called the police on 17 June to report him missing.
The couple now say that there are 'lots of discrepancies' in the dog sitter's story.
"She sent us a text message saying he had got diarrhoea at 12.36pm UK time but that’s also the time that she said she got stuck in the river with three dogs," recalled John, 67.
"She wouldn’t be sending a text saying he'd got the runs while stuck in the river trying to get out. It doesn’t ring true.
"We’ve got CCTV footage that she left that site at 12.59pm - she hasn’t even looked for him.
"We know Fred doesn’t like the water so I can’t see him going in the water voluntarily.
"She says he got out on his own, she had got three dogs off their leads, and says they all went in the river."
The dog sitter allegedly told the couple that she went into the river to help one of the dogs and got stuck.
But they claim that she 'abandoned' Fred and never even attempted to find him.
John went on: "We spoke to the lady who helped her and she says she can’t remember seeing our dog at all so I wonder if Fred was there.
"We’ve got proof that she left at 12.59pm so from 12.30pm to 1pm she hasn’t even looked for Fred, if he was there she just abandoned him.
"There’s a phone number on his collar but we’ve had no phone calls. She said it might have come off when she dragged him out but first she said he had got out on his own. She is changing her story all the time."
The couple are now desperate to find Fred and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
"Fred is part of the family, it’s like losing my son. We thought it would be fine and he wouldn't be gone for long," John said.
“He could have had an accident or she could have sold him. I am certain he wasn’t there on that day.
"Everyone knows how friendly Fred is. Everyone we’ve spoken to seems to think it doesn't sound right. We miss him daily, it’s very difficult."
He added: "If someone has Fred, he needs to be with the people he knows. If you have any information please come forward, there’s a huge part of our family missing."
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “Police received a report of a missing 13-year-old brown-and-white border collie.
"The dog was last seen at Westbridge Park, in Stone. Officers have investigated but there are currently no further lines of enquiry."
Featured Image Credit: BPM