Edinburgh mum begs charity to give back her long lost dog

A heartbroken woman is begging an animal charity to give back her beloved dog who she spotted at a shelter nine years after she went missing.

Margaret Lawrie claims her Border Collie Connie was snatched from a friend’s house nine years ago while she was in hospital.

The 39-year-old was scouring the Dog’s Trust website looking for a rescue dog on Saturday when she remarkably came across pictures of her furry friend.

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The astounded mum of one drove with 17-year-old daughter Arieann to the charity’s West Calder home on Sunday, where they were reunited with their long lost pooch.

Maragret believes this is Connie, currently at the Dog's Trust animal shelter in West Calder.

Margaret said: “I basically broke down in tears. I knew it was her. I have some words that I used to say to her. I said ‘Oh Connie Con’ and she went mental. She pounced right up and was trying to rub into me. She was pining like she was shouting ‘mum’. She knew it was me.

“I was absolutely heartbroken when she was taken. She went everywhere with me.”

But the pair’s tears of joy were soon turned to tears of despair when they were told the Border Collie, now called Tilly, would not be able to live with them due to their housing situation.

With no proof of ownership and Connie not being microchipped, Margaret has been left in limbo and is pleading with the charity to let her take her dog back home to the Telford area.

Margaret Lawrie and daughter Arieann outside the Dog's Trust shelter in West Calder.

The petrol station worker said: “It’s not fair as now she’s sat in a cage. I know that is Connie. I live in a one bedroom house but because I’m wanting to move places for somewhere bigger because my daughter is moving back in with me they’ve said they won’t let me have her.

“They are saying it will be unsettling for Connie to start living at my home and then move again.

“Arieann was delighted to see her. She was getting excited at the prospect at Connie coming home. But when we were told she just broke down crying.

“It’s hard to believe and they wouldn’t let me go and say goodbye.”

The Border Collie is now known as Tilly.

Despite offering to pay any rehoming fees necessary, Margaret has said charity officials are failing to budge on the situation.

The Dog’s Trust has made Tilly currently unavailable for rehoming until the situation is resolved.

“I can see where they’re coming from in a way but also why would someone go to all this hassle?,” said Margaret.

“I’m moving heaven and earth to get this dog back. They’re not taking me away from her again. She is a member of the family.

“I hate the idea of her being sat in a cage. Or now even going somewhere else now I have seen her again. It was completely fate to see her again. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

A Dog’s Trust spokesman said: “We can confirm that our West Calder Rehoming Centre has been approached by a lady who believes she could be the previous owner of a current canine resident.

“Currently this dog isn’t being rehomed to this lady because the dog has been identified as having special requirements that her home doesn’t yet meet. “We understand this must be an incredibly difficult situation for anyone to be in, however Dogs Trust has a duty of care to our residents and at present the individual has not yet been able to provide proof of ownership of the dog or how they will be able to address its needs.

“We are very sympathetic to the circumstances of the individual and are appealing for them to get in touch with our central team to discuss this further. Until the situation is resolved, the dog will remain in our care.”