Search dog Elmo

Search dog Elmo

A rescue team has stood down its search after one of its specialist dogs went missing.

Elmo, a trained dog with Surrey Search and Rescue, was taken from team leader John Torrance’s home yesterday.

The incident happened at 9.30pm at the address on Malmstone Road, Merstham.

A team spokesperson said: “Elmo, a two-year-old short-haired Collie, has been raised by team leader John Torrance from a puppy as an air-scenting search dog, trained to find missing vulnerable adults and children.

“As they were taking out the rubbish yesterday evening, his owners saw a car pull away from outside their house and Elmo was gone.

“It is completely out of character for Elmo to have left his family’s company willingly.

“Like all search and rescue dogs, Elmo is a pet raised in a caring family environment to encourage his play-drive. It is this urge to play which leads to dogs using their scenting ability to find people in danger. For them, finding people is a game to please their trainer.

“A traumatic event such as being stolen or abused can have a long-term effect on the character of a dog.”

But the story had a happy ending after a member of the public found Elmo this morning, safe and well.

The team spokesperson thanked the public for their help in finding the dog.