Bloomin’ Nora! Gala residents praised for a job well done

Galashiels residents have been praised for their marvellous community spirit after a dog which slipped its lead as its owner holidayed in the town has been returned home, 250 miles away in Derbyshire.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 9:34 am
Heather Murphy and Helen Ballantyne with jackapoo Nora, who had gone missing for five days.

Nora the Jackapoo slipped her harness outside the town’s Poundland in Channel Street last Thursday, October 1.

Her distraught family tried in vain to find her before they had to return home, but they enlisted the services of a specialist volunteer pet finder, Mandy Butler, who runs the Lost Dog Trapping Team Search and Rescue Network in Stockton on Tees.

The news was put out via a dedicated Facebook page run by Gill Lennox, as well as the town’s Resilience Group page.

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Regular sightings were made, including from local postman Greg Armstrong and cinema owner Andrew Poole and his wife Lenore, and Graham Walkingshaw helped the search with his drone.

Mandy told us: “I was asked to help, and although it’s a three-hour drive to Galashiels, I felt I had to do it.

“First job was to get the word out in Galashiels and to educate the locals in what not to do as regards lost dog protocol.

“That inclues not shouting on the dog by name, or chasing after her, as she was running scared and in survival mode.

“She was returning to Channel Street on occasion as that’s where she lost her family, and running across busy roads.

“So I asked people who saw her in their property to put food and water out for her, as she would be hungry and likely to return for more,”

One resident, Heather Murphy, did just that, and called Mandy, who headed north with her special trap, and met up with Heather, Helen Ballantyne and Andrew Poole.

Mandy said: “The location, in Galapark, was perfect, so the trap was erected and cameras placed in position.

“I filled the trap with food for Nora and set the trap, then heard a little scuttle behind me and out popped Nora.

“She had smelled the food and was hiding under a mobility scooter behind us.

“The garden gate was instantly closed and the fence was then netted and pegged so she had no escape route if she didnt enter the trap.

“Helen went to buy hot chicken and we left the garden.

“Within less than five minutes Nora entered the trap and was safe.”

Nora travelled down to Teeside with Mandy, and her elated family picked her up the next day.

And Mandy said she was thankful for the help of the town’s residents who recorded sightings and, five days later, aiding in trapping Nora.

She said: “The people of Galashiels were fantastic and I’m so glad we were able to help.

“We couldn’t have done this without you all.”

Nora’s mum, who goes by the name Gem Lou on social media, posted a heartwarming video to the Resilience Group’s page, showing a happy Nora pleased to be back home.

She said: “To everyone who helped out, and thought about my little Nora, you are amazing, you have all found her.

“Each and everyone of you, that spirit of mass consciousness, you raised did this.

“Raising the positive vibrations so high did this.

“I could not have achieved this is anyway shape or form without you all.

“I am forever in your debt.”