The rugby pitches at Whiteman’s Green have been the scene of many dramas but nothing could match the excitement when lost dog Monty staggered onto the touchline during a training session last month.
Monty, a 7 year old border terrier, had gone missing during on a walk on Whiteman’s Green and, after more than two weeks with no sightings, hopes of finding hi were beginning to fade.
But owner Klare Kennett refused to give up hope. Supported by family, friends and fellow dog walkers Klare set up the ‘Help Find Monty’ campaign, distributing posters all around the village, setting up a Facebook page and carrying out daily searches around Whiteman’s Green and New England Wood.
And their persistence paid off when Mony was found after staggering onto the green and collapsing between the two rugby pitches. Whiteman’s Green resident Peter Clack had spotted the little dog in his car headlights, alerting the players who made the phone call Klare had been praying for.
“Monty was very weak, thin and dehydrated, but also warm, dusty and smelt strongly of foxes,“ said Klare. “We think he’d been stuck down a fox hole, unable to squeeze himself out until he had lost weight.
“Monty knows the rugby club very well as my son Oliver plays for the minis, so headed for a familiar place.”
Monty was whisked off o the vet, where he spent the night under observation and on a drip but, much to the family’s delight, made a remarkable recovery and was well enough to return to the family home in Bolnore Village the following day.
“Having Monty home is absolutely wonderful, not only for us but for our other dog Barney who had been pining for him,” said Klare, assistant communications and marketing director for the RSPCA which had rescued both dogs. “He’s sleeping a lot and has a nasty sore where his harness had rubbed him. But apart from that he’s doing really well.”
Klare added that she was overwhelmed by the support from residents and dog lovers from Cuckfiel and beyond. “The Help Find Monty Facebook page reached around 22,000 people and I’ve had hundreds of messages of support,” said Klare.
"I’d like to thank everyone who helped search for Monty from the bottom of my heart. All the wandering around those fields and oods every day calling Monty must have kept him going as he gradually lost weight down the hole until he was small enough to wriggle out and find his ay back to his favourite place – the rugby club.
“It shows what can be achieved when people work together but also highlights the benefits o microchipping which makes the chances of being reunited with a lost pet so much better.”
There were extra special celebrations when Monty returned to the village just days after his ordeal ended to be reunited with the some of the many ‘human helpers’ who had joined in the search for him.