Two years ago, Fern, a black Cocker Spaniel/Springer Spaniel mix, was stolen from the Ferrier family’s farm in England.
Ethan Ferrier was only 2 years old at the time, but for a school lesson in letter writing yesterday, he decided to write a note to the dog snatchers.
“To the bad men who took Fern. Can Fern come home now please. I miss her,” he wrote.
His letter, along with a picture he drew of his family with Fern, was posted on social media yesterday in hopes of finding the dog, who is microchipped.
“Ethan was very, very upset when Fern was taken from our farm — he would ask over and over again why anyone would want to take her from us,” his mom, Jodie, told the Telegraph.
She said the family has been “campaigning tirelessly” to find Fern ever since she disappeared in April 2013, including the creation of the Find Fern Facebook community and Twitter account @FindFernwithme.
“[Ethan] has never forgotten about Fern, and always asks us where we think she is and if she is happy,” Jodie said. “He asks me every morning if Fern is coming back home, and I have to tell him I don’t know. It’s heartbreaking.”
Jodie thinks Fern was dognapped for breeding purposes since she bears a strong resemblance to Lupo, the black English Cocker Spaniel belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The family’s two other dogs at the time, a Collie and Springer Spaniel, were not taken along with Fern.
Because of the popularity of Lupo, the demand for Cocker Spaniels is high. After Lupo joined William and Kate in 2011, the Kennel Club reported a 50-percent increase in searches for Cocker Spaniels on its “Find A Puppy” website.
Thefts of the breed have also been on the rise. In January 2013, pet detective Colin Butcher told the Telegraph he was investigating a record number of dognapped black Cocker Spaniels.
Ethan’s dad, Tom, said that because of the popularity of Lupo lookalikes, breeders are now charging up to $1,500 for puppies.
“We want to make people aware of this problem, because it is getting worse,” he told the Telegraph.
To raise awareness of dog theft and help get Fern back, the family is asking people to share photos and dog “selfies” on social media with the hashtag #findfern.
“We still hope with all our hearts that Fern will be found one day,” Jodie told the Telegraph. “If only the people who took her knew the devastation they had caused, maybe they would bring her back.”