A DISTRAUGHT Teignbridge couple are appealing for news of their missing pet, a former Crufts entrant.

Kini, a rescue dog from northern Spain, disappeared while walking the South West Coastal Path on Wednesday, May 31.

‘I was walking the coastal path with my sister,’ said owner James Patrick from Bovey Tracey.

‘We were going from Smugglers’ Hole towards Torquay. Everything went well until the dog went down by himself from the path towards the sea as we were going along Labrador Bay. He tried to get back to us, but that area’s steep, very overgrown and parts are fenced off. We could hear him panting but he couldn’t reach us and we couldn’t see him. We heard one last yelp, then all went silent.’

James and his sister Gina searched for Kini until dusk, and James returned the next day to continue the search to no avail.

James and his partner Helen Davis, from Liverton, reported his loss to the police and coastguards and posted missing notices on Facebook and Next Door websites as well as phoning dog wardens and local vets, but without result.

‘It’s as if he has vanished from the face of the earth,’ said James. ‘I’m so upset. I’ve never been as close to any other animal as I am to Kini. He’s been a perfect dog for me. I can’t imagine life without him.’

In northern Spain a local dairy farmer bought him as a pup to train as a cattle herder – but Kini was frightened of cows.

James owns a home in the village and agreed to have the seven-month-old pup and bring him back to England. But before Kini was fully vaccinated and passported he was was injured.

‘His head was badly cut and a bright blue solution had been poured over it as ‘treatment’,’ explained James: ‘I thought Customs wouldn’t allow him into England, but, thank goodness, they did. Kini needed months of treatment by the Bovey Tracey vets.’

Kini grew up to be a beautiful dog. In 2017 James entered him for a local Scruffts heat, which he won. He went on to win the South West area competition for the Most Handsome Dog, and went to London to Crufts, representing the South West.

‘Please help me to find my dog,’ James appealed: ‘He is microchipped and he’s wearing a collar with my phone numbers on. I do hope he’s still alive. I must know what’s happened to him.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact Helen on 07534 521910.

Pictured: James, Helen and Kini.