A FAMILY has launched a desperate appeal to try and find their beloved pet dog Pearl.
Justine Coleman was on holiday with her family when the carers told her Pearl had escaped in woods near Wickham.
Justine and her family returned from their holiday straight away, and began hunting for their shih tzu cross.
Her appeal for help has already been shared thousands of times on Facebook, but so far there is no trace of Pearl.
Justine says that the family has been left devastated by the events – especially her eight-year-old son Joe, who suffers from autism.
She said: ‘Pearl went missing on Sunday – we came back and started hunting around Bere Wood, where she was last seen.
‘We have been out looking every day for Pearl, but have had no luck whatsoever.
‘I have four children, but it is my eight-year-old boy Joe who has been affected the most by it.
‘Pearl was his closest friend, and had a massive impact on his life.
‘On top of his autism, Joe suffers from anxiety problems but Pearl could sense when something was wrong.
‘She would go over to him and just lie there, comforting him. It was beautiful.’
Justine, who lives near Fareham, says that since Pearl went missing, Joe has been struggling.
She said: ‘I’m really worried, because he’s not eating or sleeping at the moment.
‘Losing Pearl has had a really big impact on him. I can’t bear to see him like this. We just want our dog back.’
Pearl was still wearing her lead when she ran off and Justine says that is the best way to recognise her.
She adds that Pearl is a friendly dog, honey-brown colour and responds to people calling her name.
Justine and her family are looking for anyone with any information to join them in their search.
Anyone with any information should call Justine on 07899 957639.