Owner Breaks Down In Tears As Missing Dog Found In Fox Hole

by : Lucy Connolly on : 25 Nov 2019 12:25
Owner Breaks Down In Tears As Missing Dog Found In Redbridge Fox HoleOwner Breaks Down In Tears As Missing Dog Found In Redbridge Fox HoleAlan Whitton/Facebook

A man broke down in tears after his missing dog was rescued from a fox hole, following days of ‘hell’ as he searched for her.

Alan Whitton, 49, from Woodford Green, Redbridge, welcomed Mitzi the Jack Russell into his home last year after the family’s previous dog, Tinker, sadly died.


However, on Wednesday, November 20, almost exactly a year to the day since Mitzi became part of their family, the Jack Russell went missing while out on her morning walk after being chased by another dog.

You can watch the emotional moment Alan and Mitzi were reunited below:

The Jack Russell disappeared after running away, leaving Alan to search frantically for her all day. He eventually left the area at around 6:30pm, before returning again an hour later with his wife and two children.


Despite leaving some scented toys and food, the family still couldn’t find Mitzi and they eventually had to return home. ‘I didn’t want to go home without her but it was late [and] we had to,’ Alan told Essex Live.

As this was the first time Mitzi had ever gone missing, Alan couldn’t help but think the worst. The dog-lover said he was unable to sleep all night as he ‘thought she was going to die’ in the cold weather. ‘It was hellish,’ he explained.

man rescues dog from fox holeman rescues dog from fox holeAlan Whitton/Facebook

Alan returned to the area in Knighton Wood on Thursday morning with a few of his friends, all of them searching the woods thoroughly in an attempt to find the scared dog.


However, there was still no sign of the Jack Russell ten hours later, so Alan decided to hand out some missing dog leaflets his wife had made to nearby houses.

The heartbroken dog owner said:

I broke down crying to anyone I spoke to about Mitzi, I was missing her so much.

Alan was forced to go home and spend another sleepless night worrying about Mitzi, and the next morning was beginning to come to terms with the fact he might never find his beloved pet.

mitzi the missing jack russell dogmitzi the missing jack russell dogAlan Whitton/Facebook

At around 11am though, Alan received a call from another dog walker whose house backed onto the woods, saying her dog had been sniffing around a fox hole. ‘I dropped everything and went to investigate,’ Alan said.

After squeaking one of Mitzi’s favourite toys near the entrance of the hole, Alan heard a faint whimper and got to work rescuing her. He didn’t have a shovel, so the woman who had called him lent him one and he started digging.

Eventually, he managed to pull Mitzi out of the hole by her collar, with the tear-jerking moment caught on camera and shared on Facebook shortly afterwards.


Alan explained:

I just broke down, I was overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, I had started to lose hope. It was like a Christmas miracle, all the time it felt like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.

man reunited with dog lost in fox holeman reunited with dog lost in fox holeAlan Whitton/Facebook

Alan cried for 15 minutes before taking Mitzi to the vets for a once over; luckily, she hadn’t been injured and just needed to have a few ticks removed.

In a bid to keep the Jack Russell safe, the dog owner said he’s looking into buying a GPS collar for her so he can track her at all times while out on walks.

The 49-year-old said he feels ‘so grateful and overwhelmed’ by the compassion showed by those who helped him find Mitzi, adding: ‘The prospect of not having Mitzi here at Christmas, I couldn’t even contemplate.’

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Animals, Dogs, Essex, Facebook, rescue, Viral


Alan Whitton/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Alan Whitton/Facebook

    Alan Whitton

  2. Essex Live

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