Byron police win hearts after cracking the case of a dog missing for weeks

Some old school police detective work has helped a couple reunite with their beloved dog, who has been missing for five weeks.

Josh Patterson and Courtney Beaumont thought their 14-month-old golden retriever, Sampa, had escaped from their backyard in Goonellabah and could not be found.

The couple posted on social media about their plight, threw flyers in mailboxes and even enlisted the help of a search and rescue team to search locations where a golden retriever had been spotted.

The owners of Sampa had resorted to knocking houses and combed bushland.

Delivered: Josh Patterson


“We used a thermal drone to peer through the Ballina bushland and an electric mountain bike, shouting Sampas names all over the bush, but just out of luck,” Patterson said.

“It was an emotional roller coaster ride.

“We grieved, tried to carry on, then we heard that there was a sighting and got hope again. It was just an up and down like a yo-yo.”

A young woman is holding a puppy. Courtney Beaumont with Sampa as a puppy. (

Delivered: Josh Patterson


The couple said the community’s response to their situation has been overwhelming.

“The response has been absolutely incredible,” he said.

“We had someone contact us to pay an additional $ 1,000 on top of the reward we already had for finding Sampa.”

But it didn’t come to that.

Three Byron Bay police officers working the night shift got into conversation about a new dog that had shown up at a house in Byron Bay that they visited frequently.

Tweed-Byron Police Senior Constable Joanne Turner said there was something “not quite right” about the situation.

“[My colleague] mentioned that this person we deal with on a regular basis suddenly had a golden retriever and got suspicious, “she said.

Senior Constable Turner recalled reading about a missing dog on social media in her hometown of Lismore, even though it was 50 kilometers away.

“I found the original mail and showed it to the cops and they were pretty sure it was the same dog,” she said.

“During our shift we tried to rescue them until the early hours of the morning.

“We tried to keep going back to the house to find the dog, but they weren’t home and had the dog with them at the time.”

The next day, two police officers located the dog in the house, verified the dog’s microchip, and returned it to its grateful owners.

Senior Constable Turner said this type of job was exactly why she wanted to be a police officer.

“It was a great team effort from everyone,” she said.

“It was just the right police at the right time, who worked together, who started talking. It was just really good.”

A young man and a young woman are holding a puppy. Josh Patterson and Courtney Beaumont with Sampa, who was dragged out of her backyard in July. (

Delivered: Josh Patterson


Sampa is in good health and her owners are happy to have her back.

“The only thing that has really changed is that she doesn’t want to jump on furniture anymore!” said Mr. Patterson.

He said that if you could learn something from the situation, then you should never give up.

“I think it comes back to never losing hope and just doing as much as possible to get your pet back,” said Mr. Patterson.

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