Starbeck pub staff act fast to return Dodger to owner

Dodger with owner Debbie Davies and Sam Perry. Picture: Adrian Murray (1312173AM)
Dodger with owner Debbie Davies and Sam Perry. Picture: Adrian Murray (1312173AM)

A dog taken from outside a Harrogate supermarket was reunited with his owner after being recognised by bar staff at a Starbeck pub.

Rescued Rhodesian Ridgeback cross Dodger was tied up outside Morrisons supermarket while owner Debbie Davies was inside shopping.

The store’s CCTV caught a man, who, it is understood, believed Dodger to have been abandoned, untying him and walking away, heading to the Prince of Wales pub on the High Street.

However, on arrival in the pub - Dodger’s local - staff recognised the dog, stopped the man and returned him to a distraught Debbie.

She explained: “I had to tie Dodger up while I popped into the shop. I was in there for ten minutes but when I came out, he was gone. I was beside myself.

“I notified the police, then got a phone call because the guy who had taken him had walked into the Prince of Wales pub, and was passing him off as his own.

“He was immediately challenged by the staff, Dodger and I have been there with my brother a few times before, so they recognised him.

“Pub patrons Sam Perry and George McFarlane walked Dodger round to my house, and I was so elated when he walked through the door - I thought I would never see him again.”

The dog lover thanked the staff for their quick work.

She said: “Without their help I don’t believe I would have got Dodger back, and he could have been sold to somebody.

“It’s quite incredible, we have been back to the pub since.

“It is fantastic to know that such community spirit still exists. Dodger is welcome in the Prince of Wales, everyone knows him in there!”

Debbie and Dodger recently moved in with Debbie’s brother Rod Fox, having returned from living in Australia.

Debbie, originally from Staffordshire, said: “I returned from Western Australia after 22 years in November.

“Dodger is a beautiful dog, he is seven, and I couldn’t leave him behind.

“He is completely bonded to me, and I’m sure he would have been distressed.”

Rod said: “In these days of troubles - theft, robbery, anti social behaviour and others - it is nice to know that community spirit still exists, perhaps not so much in big urban areas but in good old Starbeck certainly.

“To all those people who so kindly helped to recover our dog we give a massive thank you.”

A note of thanks is pinned up in the pub.