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PET DETECTIVE; Missing pup is found by teenage Andrew.

Byline: By Robert McAulay

A SCHOOLBOY sleuth turned pet detective to solve the riddle of his missing puppy.

Andrew Gilmour, 13, was heartbroken when his beloved dog Star vanished from his back garden.

He spent weeks scouring the streets of Larkhall, Lanarkshire, for the nine-week-old Staffordshire terrier.

And just like his hero Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, played by Jim Carrey in the 1994 movie, his persistence finally paid off.

Star had allegedly been 'dognapped' and sold When Andrew saw her being walked by a group of girls, he called the police.

Now he's been reunited with his best pal, Yesterday, he said: 'I am really happy I have Star back. I missed her lots when she was away.'

Andrew had been given the pup to lift his spirits after the death of his mum Elizabeth a year ago.

He spent most of his summer holiday hunting for her - finally spotting her with the girls, who insisted she belonged to them.

Andrew said: 'I followed them back to a house and a man there told me he bought it from a man in Stonehouse.

'I knew right away it was Star because she had a distinctive brown patch over one of her eyes.

'I then went to the police station to tell them what had happened and they sorted it out.'

It is understood that someone took Star from Andrew's garden and then sold her on to an unsuspecting animal-lover in the town.

Yesterday, dad James, 44, said: 'Andrew took it bad when Star vanished. We never expected to see her back' We are delighted that she is back but upset that other people lost money on buying her.

'I am so proud of Andrew and he is over the moon at having Star back. Star's happy now and playing with her mother, who lives next door.'

A friend of the family said: 'Wee Andrew has been down in the dumps since his mum died. And getting Star had fairly cheered him up. What he did took a lot of bravery and guts.'

Last night police confirmed that a 20-year-old man from Larkhall had been reported to the procurator fiscal in connection with the incident

CAPTION(S):

DOGGED PURSUIT: Andrew gets a lick from his pal Star
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 12, 2005
Words:376
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