Dog owner Rob Smith has told of his joy after being reunited with pet Labrador Buster nine years after it vanished as a pup.
The 39-year-old feared he would never see the animal again when he disappeared in 2010. But he got a phone call on Saturday morning from a vet 10 miles from his home telling him he had been found and identified through tagging. Buster was only a few months old when he disappeared from Rob’s mum’s garden in Llanelli, south Wales, in 2010. “I believe he was stolen. We searched for him for weeks. I think I had half of Llanelli looking for him,” said Rob. Buster was found wandering the streets by a member of the public who took him to a nearby vet. Delighted Rob said: “I raced around to the vet’s after work. I just burst into tears. It was the biggest shock of my life. “It was very emotional seeing him again. He seemed pleased to see me. "He just rolled straight over. I can’t believe he’s back. "Nine years down the road and you get your best friend back. What are the odds? I guess we’ll never know where he’s been. I believe he was stolen.” Rob, of Llanelli, South Wales, got another black Labrador, Bruno, after Buster disappeared. He said: “They are already best mates.” Rob also met partner Samantha, 33, through the hunt for his missing pet. They now have two daughters, Ella-Louise, seven, and Mia-Grace, 16 months. Rob said: “I would never have had any of that if it hadn’t been for losing Buster.” Rob wants it to be made compulsory that every animal newly-registered with a vet should be scanned and the owner’s details checked to see if they match the details on its microchip. Meanwhile, distraught dog owners have contacted police after their pets went missing while under the watch of a professional dogsitter. Louise Lawford is reported to have told the owners that their pooches ran off on Sunday after being spooked by a gunshot. But the owners have contacted West Midlands Police about the disappearances. The dogs are still being considered as 'lost' by the police force. According to a 'missing' poster for the pooches, their microchips have had a 'stolen' alert placed on their records.