Bandit found after a week
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 kentowlacademy.com
Mollie King, director and owner of the Kent Owl Academy, with barn owl Dawn
Bandit has finally been found