A Borders family have raised the stakes in their desperate bid to be reunited with their two missing pet dogs by increasing the reward they are offering for their return to £5,000.
Gamekeeper Edward Bell and wife Georgie are refusing to give up on finding missing border terriers Ruby and Beetle, believed to have been snatched during a festive hunt on the Lothian Estate at Jedburgh.
They have employed search parties to scour the woods where the dogs were last seen and even used a mechanical digger to open up old badger setts and fox-holes to try and find them.
The couple had originally offered a £1,000 reward for the dogs’ return but have since been told that is not enough to guarantee getting them back.
Their reward has now been increased fivefold in the hope that money talks.
The family have received calls from people claiming to know the whereabouts of the dogs, but little concrete information has so far emerged.
With the help of friends, they have now set up a crowdfunding page, and it has added almost £1,500 to their appeal coffers in just a few days.
The couple and their three children – Tom, 15; Felicity, 14; and Frances, 12 – are hoping that raising the reward on offer will boost their chances of getting their pets back.
“If it is scum that has got them, then I’m afraid money talks,” said Georgie, 45, of Woodside Gamekeeper’s House near Jedburgh.
“We’re sure that the dogs have been lifted, and someone told Ed that they could be in the Midlands, but we don’t know. All that could be nothing.
“We have been told that if you want them back, £1,000 is not enough, so a couple of my good friends set up a crowdfunding page, and it’s already got £1,400 in, so we’re not far away from the £5,000 target when added to the £1,000 we are offering.
“We just want people to know there will be a £5,000 reward for the return of these dogs. We just want them back. I have been making myself ill. They’re family pets.
“At the end of the day, money talks, and £5,000 is an awful lot of money. It is there for anyone who might even know something. Surely that’s enough now.
“I think it will give us a much better chance of getting them back.”
If you have information on Ruby and Beetle’s whereabouts, call Edward and Georgie on 07885 712165 or 07989 513946.