A reward for the safe return of two missing dogs has been increased to £7,500 following a Facebook page dedicated to finding them becoming the most visited of its kind, with 32,000 shares.
Edward Bell and wife Georgie originally offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of their border terrier bitches Ruby and Beetle, feared to have been snatched during a festive hunt on the Lothian Estate at Jedburgh on Friday, December 28.
That figure was increased to £5,000 earlier this year, and now, with financial support pouring in from all over the country, it has been further hiked to £7,500.
In addition, Georgie has been contacted by a woman offering to donate a further £2,500 to push the reward up to £10,000 at a later date.
The disappearance of Ruby, five, and Beetle, two, has devastated the couple and their three children – Tom, 15, Felicity, 14, and Frances, 12 – of Woodside Gamekeeper’s House in Jedburgh.
The family are determined not to give up on their beloved pets, however, and they hope their latest increase in reward money could yield a longed-for breakthrough in getting them back.
Georgie, 45, said: “We have raised the reward to £7,500.
“The biggest reward offered for a dog’s return is, I believe, ten grand, but I have had a lady offer me another £2,500 to take it up to £10,000. I don’t feel I can take it off her because it’s a hell of a lot of money, though.
“She contacted me on Facebook and gave me references, her name and address, but I don’t know if I can take that money. I said I would get back to her.
“Now that we have upped the reward, we have to offer it for a short period of time, so it’s being offered until the first of July and then it’s gone.”
“There have been so many people who have joined the group. We have 7,300 members, and a lot of people say they joined after we raised the initial £5,000, and they have asked if we could reopen the crowdfunding page, but because it takes such a large share of the donations, we have set up on a PayPal money pool account instead.
“We set it up on Saturday night, and we already have £1,600. It’s amazing.
“One lady suggested putting it up to 20 grand, but that is just ludicrous.
“This latest increase is just an extra push to get them back safe and alive.”