A WORCESTERSHIRE family “can’t say thank you enough” to members of a hunt who helped to reunite them with their beloved pet.

The Eades family, of Doddenham, near Broadwas, feared the worst when twoyear- old cocker spaniel Puppy Joe ran off during a walk last month.

Despite two days of searching, he was nowhere to be seen and the family were devastated when they heard reports a dog had been hit by a car on the A44 the night he disappeared.

Four days later, members of the Worcestershire Hunt were taking part in a trail hunt in nearby Knightwick when one of the hounds failed to return.

The hunt’s whipper-in Wayne Keeble was searching for the hound in woodland near Broadwas when he discovered Puppy Joe under a tree.

“We walked through the wood and there was a wet, bedraggled spaniel which looked like he had been there for some time,” said the 21- year-old from Fernhill Heath.

“He was hunched up in a bush and he was a bit scared to start off with.

“When he realised we weren’t going to hurt him he started wagging his tail and came over to us.

“We went into the village itself because someone had seen a stray hound but it wasn’t the spaniel.

“So we took him back to where we started in Knightwick and the farmer took him back to his owners while we went to find our hound.

“If it wasn’t for us hunting that day he might never have been found. He’s someone’s pride and joy, and being dog lovers we couldn’t leave him – it was the right thing to do,” said Wayne Puppy Joe suffered a broken pelvis but owner Adele Eades said he was making a good recovery. The stray hound, meanwhile, was found safe and well.

“We went from the worst place to the best place in one day,” said the mother-ofthree.

“We’re so relieved to have him back. Our other dogs Daisy and Dido, Joe’s mum, gave him a big welcome when he came home.

“It was a huge surprise because I thought he was a gonner. I couldn’t believe it.

We’d like to say a big thank you to the hunt, of course, and to people who helped us search.

“This is the second time he’s cheated death because he was born with a missshapen ribcage. Vets said he may not survive but he did.

“We’re thinking about changing his name to Lucky Joe.”