A SEARCH operation involving 1,000 people swung into action as the Huntingdonshire community rallied to find a beloved German Shepherd which went missing in Sapley.

Three-year-old Beau had been left at home in Green Tiles Close, on December 13, when a faulty lock allowed him to open a door and escape.

His worried owners Chris and Elizabeth Roberts started a group on Facebook to appeal for information about his whereabouts and within hours dozens of people started to post messages of support and offers of help.

That quickly grew to several hundred and eventually a total of 1,028 people got in touch, allowing Mr and Mrs Roberts to have a search party out day and night looking for their pet and responding to people’s sightings.

Eventually, neighbour Sally Mead, who was volunteering a couple of hours to search for the dog before she started work, found Beau in St Peter’s Road, near Windover Road, on December 19.

“The community really came together,” Mr Roberts said.

“It was amazing the way so many people contacted us and that people just dropped everything to look for a dog they never even knew.

“We would never have found Beau without all the people who helped in the search.

“They showed unbelievable warmth and support.”

Beau, who is described by his owners as quite timid and afraid of strangers, was given a shower as soon as he got home.

He was taken to the vets for a checkover, where he was given painkillers after the skin on his paws became worn after several days and nights outside.

He is making a steady recovery back to full health – and was spoiled with treats at Christmas, including an assortment of gifts from one Facebook friend worth £150.

The group on the social networking site is being used as a page for other people to appeal for information about their lost pets.