Hero Hibs chief Leeann Dempster comes to rescue of runaway dog

Owner Mary Reece is reunited with Layla, thanks to Leeann Depster, top right
Owner Mary Reece is reunited with Layla, thanks to Leeann Depster, top right
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HIBS boss Leeann Dempster raced to the rescue of a distressed dog groomer after the panicking crimper lost a customer’s prized pooch.

The club’s chief executive spotted a white bichon-poodle cross running along Milton Road alone at around 9.15am – closely followed by a woman giving chase on a bike.

And when she asked what was happening, desperate Christine Mill told her: “She’s running away.”

Quick-thinking Leeann told the woman to jump in her car and gave chase.

But despite almost half-an-hour searching, the runaway dog managed to sell them a dummy.

Undeterred Leeann took to social media and asked her army of 9000 followers to help and join in the search.

She said: “I’m in Duddingston area with a lady who’s lost her little white Cross Poodle Layla ..if you see her phone. Please retweet.”

The message was shared and retweeted almost 300 times in a matter of minutes.

And just hours later, news came through missing Layla had been found.

Dempster said: “The little thing was running down Milton Road and I thought that doesn’t look right, but it was on a bit of a mission on the street.

“Then I saw the lady on the bike.

“She looked quite distraught so I rolled down the window and asked if she was ok.”

After driving around looking for Layla, she offered to make use of her status as club chief and Tweet out an appeal for help.

She added: “I have dogs and I understand what it is like.

“I thought if I Tweeted it might help.”

Relieved owner Mary Reece later explained that Layla was a rescue dog who had only been in the family around a year after being brought over from Belfast. Although she travels regularly from her home in Danderhall to the groomers in Mountcastle, she still doesn’t know the area well.

And they were terrified of what might have happened during her adventure.

She said: “She only knows the fields as she is walked around there. Because of her background, she is very shy in temperament.

“We were so worried.

“She had been on the go that long we wondered if she had been attacked or even hit by a car. All those kinds of thoughts go through your head.”

But she doesn’t even blame Christine, adding: “The groomer can’t apologise enough – but I’m apologising to her because it’s my dog.”

She added: “We would like to thank Leeann from the 
bottom of our hearts for everything she has done today.”

Relieved Christine said there was no doubt in her mind that Leeann’s Tweet helped save the day. She said: “I’d never met her before – she was so helpful I can’t thank her enough.”

“I’m just so relieved to get Layla back again. She is with me right now, she is filthy and so she is going to need bathing.

“But she will never be let out of my sight ever again.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com