VIDEO: Newquay man in camping protest is reunited with his beloved dog
A Newquay man who was preparing to sleep outside an animal refuge centre, after they refused to release his dog, has been reunited with his pet.
Nick Webb lost his dog, Barnaby, while walking on Porth Island on Friday evening.
He spent hours searching for his beloved pet, and even got up at 5am on Saturday morning to put up posters of the dog in the hope that he would be found.
A couple spotted the pet walking on a beach road and handed him into the St Francis Home for Animals on Trevelgue Road at 9.45pm on Friday.
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But when Mr Webb arrived at the centre hoping to collect his pet on Saturday he was told to return on Monday morning, saying it was their policy not to release animals during weekend hours.
Distraught at having to wait and not wanting to upset his 8-year-old daughter, who had been crying after Barnaby's disappearance, Mr Webb said he would camp at the centre in protest.
Former judge and British diplomat, who is chairman of the animal charity, Jeremy Varcoe, stepped in and over ruled Cornwall Council's policy giving Mr Webb permission to take his pet home.
As a result of the incident Mr Varcoe said he would now be appealing to the authority asking it to reconsider its policy.
He said: "The dog warden was in a difficult position, he felt duty bound to adhere to the council’s policy. Normally paperwork is not completed during the weekend to release animals.
"I took the view, on this occasion, that the welfare of the animal overrode bureaucratic rules...it was the right thing to do. Animal welfare is at the top of everything that we do."
He said that they are providing a service for Cornwall Council who have legal responsibility for the animals being cared for at the centre.
Mr Webb, who had to pay £100 to have his dog returned, said he was pleased with the chairman’s decision and thanked the Cornish Guardian for its help.
He said: "I am amazed, that the help from the Cornish Guardian has given me a great result. I was planning to camp here all weekend, now I can go home and enjoy a barbecue with my brother, who has come from Australia to visit.
"I just hope the council sees sense and changes its policy. I am thrilled to have Barnaby back."