‘He might not have survived another night’ - how hero dog Ted helped bring missing pensioner George home
George Dodds, 72, from Cleadon, was reported missing from at 6.50pm on Thursday, April 25, after leaving his home in Woodlands View at around 1pm.
But it was the keen senses of clever border collie Ted which eventually led to George being found on Saturday.
After hearing of the news George was missing Cleadon resident Peter Collins decided to take Ted out on Saturday night to the area around the Sunderland Greyhound Stadium in an attempt to find him.
Peter, 61, from Front Street, Cleadon, said he knew George from the local area and had even taken him home on one occasion.
Peter said: “On Saturday at around 5pm I decided that I would take Ted out to have a look for George myself.
“I parked up on Moor Lane and went into the field behind the Sunderland Greyhound Stadium and said to Ted; ‘find George’.
“We made our way down the field and then Ted made a beeline for a hedge on the edge of the metro line that runs between East Boldon and Seaburn.
“I couldn’t see him at first but Ted was at the hedge like he knew something was there.
“I then heard a noise and then saw a bit of a blue jacket and thought straight away; ‘this could be George.’
“I shouted ‘is that you George?’ It went quiet but the noise started up again.”
Peter phoned 999 and within around 10 minutes police arrived at the scene and Mr Dodds was taken to hospital.
Peter said George may have fallen and was lying behind some bushes and a fence, making it difficult to get to him.
Peter, who shares one-year-old Ted with a friend, said: “George was totally hidden, I wouldn’t have been able to find him without Ted.
“He is a very bright dog and his senses are amazing - he smells the air and is so alert.
“It’s unbelievable how its panned out - he is so fortunate to have been found as he might not have survived another night.”
Peter said George’s family have been in touch to thank him and Ted for finding George.
Supt Paul Milner said; “George was found by a member of the public who alerted the police on Saturday afternoon and we have now reunited George with his family and he has been taken to hospital to be looked after. Since he went missing we have been increasingly concerned for George’s welfare and are pleased that he has been found.
“Northumbria Police and George’s family are grateful for the help and support they have received from members of the public. ”
“We saw the local community really come together to help look for George and share our appeal and we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped.”