Ban­dit found af­ter a week

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

A lost dog who bolted in Mote Park af­ter be­ing spooked spent a week sleep­ing ruff be­fore be­ing found.

Three-year-old Ban­dit ran away from his walker at the Maid­stone na­ture spot on Tues­day, Jan­uary 23, spark­ing a huge search.

His owner Vicky Lam­bert, from Ryarsh, re­ceived numer­ous phone calls and mes­sages while she set up camp at the park in Mote Av­enue at 5.30am each day.

Miss Lam­bert, a phys­io­ther­a­pist, said: “Ban­dit is a res­cue dog from the RSPCA and we got him in Oc­to­ber. He has al­ways been anx­ious and scared of noises.

“He went with the dog walker around Mote Park and there was a noise and he bolted with his lead still at­tached.

“Every­one was com­ing to­gether and the peo­ple who knew Ban­dit from the RSPCA all helped look for him.”

When Miss Lam­bert’s phone rang on Tues­day, Jan­uary 30, she broke down in tears of joy when she was told Ban­dit, a mixed breed Bos­ton ter­rier and Stafford­shire bull ter­rier, had been seen.

She said: “A lady said she thought she knew where Ban­dit was and I started cry­ing.

“She was stand­ing next to the thick­est un­der­growth. My part­ner saw him curled up in a tiny ball.

“When he came home he walked through the front door to his food and just started play­ing with his toys.

“He acted like he had never been away.” Mourn­ers will now be able to give their loved ones a feath­ery farewell, with the launch of so-called ‘fu­nerowls’.

While re­leas­ing doves has long been as­so­ci­ated with me­mo­rial ser­vices, a Maid­stone busi­ness is mak­ing the birds of prey avail­able for cer­e­monies, due to pop­u­lar de­mand.

Rap­tors from the Kent Owl Academy can be booked to add a spe­cial touch to a fam­ily mem­ber’s send-off.

Mol­lie King, di­rec­tor of the academy, which also of­fers the birds as ring-bear­ers at wed- dings, says she thinks see­ing owls re­leased into the sky will bring peace to mourn­ers.

She said: “I have had the Kent Owl Academy for just over a year now and we have be­come quite pop­u­lar.

“I have had a few peo­ple ask­ing what the deal is with hav­ing owls at fu­ner­als and if that is some­thing we can do.

“It is a brand new thing and it might take a while to get go­ing but I want to be the go-to per­son for it.”

Pack­ages for the pres­ence of an owl at a fu­neral be­gin at £200 and the birds can be booked for fu­ner­als, wakes, me­mo­rial gath­er­ings and life cel­e­bra­tions.

They could be re­leased into the sky or present on a static perch or with a han­dler.

It would be left up to the client to gain per­mis­sion for the owls to at­tend but Ms King, based at Kent Life, San­dling, has al­ready con­tacted fu­neral di­rec­tors in an at­tempt to per­suade venues to al­low owls into cer­e­monies.

She said: “The de­mand seems to be there from the pub­lic. Hav­ing lost some­one very close to me in Novem­ber I have been try­ing to see what I could use my busi­ness for. You have only got to look at owls in mythol­ogy and they are meant to be wise and can see what peo­ple can’t see.

“Some spir­i­tual thinkers might be­lieve that owls are look­ing af­ter their loved ones as they fly over the burial ground.”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit ken­towla­

Pic­ture: Andy Pay­ton FM5070692

Mol­lie King, di­rec­tor and owner of the Kent Owl Academy, with barn owl Dawn

Ban­dit has fi­nally been found

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