Family’s relief as lost dog returns

FAMILY pet Gunner is no stranger to long walks in the park or even a leisurely jog around the streets with his owner.

But the three-year-old German Shepherd surpassed even his own record last week, eventually being found six miles away from his home in Bridgend after deciding to head out on his own.

Gunner’s owners, the Burlingham family, were forced to undertake a desperate search after he disappeared from their Cefn Glas home on Friday afternoon.

But thanks to the kindhearted actions of local people and the power of social media, he was soon home safe and well.


Gunner was taken in by Croft Rescue Kennels by a mystery individual who found him wandering Kenfig Dunes near Porthcawl.

“We hoped he would come home, but obviously for whatever reason he has got a scent of something and has gone,” said owner Fiona Burlingham when Gunner went missing.

The mother-of-three was joined by her sons Ben, 16, and Drew, 12, during the search, but Gunner was nowhere to be seen.

“We were all looking in the wrong places,” she said.

“I went to have a look for myself and I was out until about nine in the evening because I thought he might appear from somewhere, but we were not looking far enough.

“My husband takes the dog alongside him and they go out biking, so he is capable of doing long distances, but he has never done anything on his own.

“I would love to know which way he went.

“He goes out every morning for a fairly long walk, so it’s not something he has got a habit of doing.

“He does tend to chase cats given the opportunity, so whether something has caught his attention as he has come out of the gate – that is probably the most likely explanation.

“I would be intrigued to know where he has gone and how he has got there, because it’s a fair old trek, even in the car.”

After the desperate search failed to locate Gunner, Fiona appealed for help on social networking website Facebook.

Her appealed was “shared” by more than 70 people, some from as far away as New Zealand.

And their search came up trumps when they received word that a German Shepherd had been taken in by Croft Rescue Kennels.

Gunner and his owners were reunited the following morning. “I just think it’s pretty heartwarming really, when you have got all the bad news, and people are prepared to pull together even if you don’t know them,” added Fiona.

The wait for news of Gunner’s whereabouts was even more agonising for Fiona’s husband Leigh, who works overseas.

“There was nothing he could do,” said Fiona.

“He just had to sit and wait for me to contact him to tell him what was going on.

“The connection is fairly limited anyway depending on the connection we’ve got, but he was relieved when I managed to text him and say the dog was home.”

“Gunner was very pleased to see us.

“He didn’t go for a walk again for two days.

“He ate a massive breakfast when he came in and was just quite happy to sit in the corner.

“He’s become such a part of the family it’s like having another child, so it was smiles all round really.”

Were you the mystery person who took Gunner to the kennels? If so, get in touch with the Gazette by calling 01656 349300 or e-mailing

Article source: