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Search dog Poppy wins award for finding missing child

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The search dog that found missing three-year-old Ziggy Joshua has been given a commendation certificate for reuniting him with his parents.

St Helena’s deputy fire chief, Alan Thomas, has told how he asked for one of Paul Laban’s trained dogs to be brought in when Ziggy went missing in the Hutt’s Gate area, prompting a large search operation.

Ziggy had been on the island less than a week, on a visit from Ascension, when he wandered off in unfamiliar surroundings.

Alan told the St Helena Broadcasting Corporation: “If it had not been for Poppy on the day, who knows? She led us to Ziggy.

“Initially she was dragging Paul down the hill. She started to bark: I thought she was barking at the cattle, but to find no cattle down there. So maybe an indication she was nearing Ziggy. She changed direction, took Paul across the hill and back down the hill and there Ziggy were.”

Paul, who runs Top Dog Security, said any of his three dogs could have found Ziggy, after two and a half years of training with the fire and rescue service.

He said: “This is the first live we have actually gone on. It must give the people of St Helena a lot of heart knowing that these dogs, whichever one gets the shout, the outcome should be the same. They are brilliant dogs, superb. Nothing but praise for the handlers.”

Chief of police Peter Coll has presented commendation certificates to Paul and Alan, as well as to Poppy.

The SHBC daily news bulletin can be heard at any time at


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