Many times when a dog s lost the ending is a sad one as the pet is either found dead or is never found, sometimes because it has been stolen and sold on to someone else.

However, there was a much happier outcome in Culcheth near Warrington, where two unidentified teenage boys found a missing King Charles spaniel called Max and looked after him before reuniting the dog with his owners, the Warrington Guardian reports.

The two boys, known only as Riley and Thomas, were publicly thanked on social media by the daughter of the owners after Max was safely returned. One of the owners, giving her name as Beverley, declared that “the boys deserve a medal”, while another Culcheth resident to the paper that it was “lovely that they cared so much”.

Max had escaped through a gate but after being found by the boys, they went from house-to-house to try to find the owners until they were eventually successful.

The incident may act as a reminder of the need to register a dog microchip when it is implanted, to help detect and identify them. In this case, Max was chipped so his identity could be easily confirmed.

While the tale of Max had a happy ending as he is now back home, it can often be a tough task looking for missing pets, especially if there is nobody actively trying to reunite a lost animal with its owners.

Efforts to find lost dogs include the existence of the charity Drone SAR For Dogs. It has over 62,000 members nationally who use drones in their searches.

However, in places like Warrington and the rest of north-west England, the charity feels it needs more volunteer searchers and drone pilots. It has appealed for people to come forward in the Lancashire region to increase its capacity to locate lost dogs, the Lancashire Evening Post reports.

Since it was founded by dog lover Graham Burton, it has helped find 2,750 missing pets across the UK.

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