Solihull woman and her cherished dog, who had been lost for ten months, are reunited today. Amber Deffurn, a resident of Castle Bromwich, told BirminghamLive that she “never lost hope” of finding her American Bulldog dog French.
Amber alleges that in October 2021, when French was only three months old, he was taken from a family member in Birmingham.
On Tuesday night, August 9, the dog warden gave him back. He was still recognizable as her “beautiful” boy despite being the “size of a horse” and having his ears illegally trimmed.
“I have other dogs and it was just like, it became a bit of a nightmare I didn’t want to walk my other dogs in case they were taken, I just didn’t know what was happening I didn’t know how he was living, it did drive me mental, I felt like I was going insane worrying all the time,” Amber, 25, said to BirminghamLive.
Amber reports that in October, French was “snatched” from a family member who was walking him in broad daylight.
The incident has not resulted in any arrests, according to West Midlands Police, and Amber has stated that the dog warden is looking into it.
“Usually you don’t get the dog back, a lot of people told me you need to give up because you’re not going to see him again, I just thought I only really had hope left,” said Amber, who shares her home with her daughter and three other pets.
Sadly, Amber believes French’s ears were cut in an illegal procedure called “cropping.”
“I had hundreds of leaflets printed out, I was taking them door to door, we were driving around different areas late at night to see if anyone was walking him.”
“It looks like his ears were cut off with a Stanley blade, it looked like back yard job,” she said. She added that the French returned caked in mud and dirt.
And he appeared entirely different from the tiny puppy he was in October to the adult he is now: “He’s massive, he’s like a horse, they did say to me do you want him back because he is massive I said obviously, I’ve looked for him for 10 months, I was worried when he came back, I thought I don’t know him now, but he’s the calmest out of all my dogs, he’s so chilled.”
Amber thought back to the moment she learned the warden had discovered French: “Canine Search called me. She said ‘are you ready for what I’m going to tell you?’ I thought he was dead. She said we’ve found him, the dog warden has got him, she said the dog warden is going to ring you to sort out bringing him back.”
Amber claimed that ever since she and French were reunited on Tuesday, she has been “in shock.” Last year, she launched a social media effort to find French; as a result, when she announced that French had been located after a grueling ten months, more than 300 individuals expressed relief.
French, who is now a massive 13 months old, is adjusting to life at home once more, according to Amber: “He’s fine today, yesterday he was a bit confused, I don’t think he remembers us, he was just pacing around and stressed but today he’s completely chilled out, he finally started playing with toys and we were trying to play with him yesterday and he was like I don’t know what that is.”
She added: “He’s very very calm.”