A mother-of-five is making a plea to the new owners of her lost family pet: “Please can I have my dog back?”

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Pet dog Rocko went missing from his home in Lakenham in March.

Unknown to his desperate owner he was handed in to Broadland District Council and rehomed – and now owner Deborah Parrott cannot be reunited with her beloved dog.

The 46-year-old mother and grandmother is praying for his return, and said: “He’s such a clever dog, we miss him every day – the house isn’t the same without him.”

The German shepherd/rottweiler cross went missing on March 18 when he escaped from the garden at his Lakenham home. Ms Parrott and her son Lee, 16, said they reported him missing to Norwich City Council and the RSPCA on Barrack Street.

Six weeks later, after almost losing hope, Ms Parrott’s son placed an advert online on classified advert site Gumtree, asking if anyone had seen Rocko.

Ms Parrott was contacted by a woman who recognised Rocko’s picture. She had found him and taken him to Pets at Home in Sprowston.

A spokesman from Broadland District Council said the authority had received a call on March 18 to say a dog had been found, but as he was not microchipped and could not be identified, he was taken to the council’s contractor’s kennels before being rehomed after seven days.

The spokesman added: “If anyone calls Broadland District Council reporting a lost dog, we always recommend they call all local councils in the area.”

Broadland council will not pass on the details of the kennels to Ms Parrott, and so she contacted the Norwich Evening News to see if a public appeal could win her pet back.

Ms Parrott, who is mum to Dillon, 21, Gavin, 19, Lee, 16, Scott, 10, and Steve, eight, said Rocko was missed by all the family, especially her younger boy, Steve who loves it when Rocko comes with her to pick him up from school, and added: “I’d like the owners to please get in contact with me, they need to know that my dog has a home.

“I wouldn’t go through all this if he wasn’t important to me, I just want to let them know why it has taken so long for me to find out where he is.

“I have a sore hip, and taking Rocko for walks helps me to get the exercise I need, I know him inside out and people always say what a lovely dog he is.

Ms Parrott, who was saving up for a microchip, said Rocko’s tag must have come off before he was found.

“I didn’t think I needed a microchip until recently,” she added, “he always stayed close to me and didn’t stray far.”

Ms Parrott has had Rocko for six years, from a puppy, and said: “I trained him - I know his personality, I know that he cries when he hears an ambulance, and he says please and thank you when you feed him.

“I’m not angry with the new owners, I just want them to know the whole situation so we can get something sorted so that Rocko can come home.”

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Council is only legally required to keep a dog for seven days before they can find it another home.

Counciller John Fisher, portfolio holder for environmental excellence, said: “If this dog had a tag and/or chip, it could have been identified straight away by either the person who found it or Pets at Home and returned to its owner.

“We are very sorry to hear that this resident could not be reunited with her dog, and would urge all owners to bear in mind the heartache and expense which can be saved by a simple chip or tag for your dog’s collar.”

If you know where Rocko is please call 07501 481521 or email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

Help find missing Rocko. Spread the word by using #findrocko on Twitter.

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