A DESPERATE search is under way for a beloved cocker spaniel lost from Tolpuddle last week.

Edward, a largely black two-year-old gun dog with a white neck and chest, ran away from owners Callum and Emma Lewis at around 10.30am on Thursday.

At the weekend a possible sighting was made in Sopley, near Bournemouth Airport, leading to speculation he may have been stolen and then dumped.

Scores of people have joined in the search since Mrs Lewis, 25, put an appeal on Facebook. A Twitter hastag #letsfindedward, has also been started.

“We have had him for two years now, he is a pretty lively dog and is half trained as a gun dog,” said Mr Lewis, also 25.

“I can take him out when I'm working and when we go out shooting every now and then. My wife called him Edward, I think she just thought he looked like one.

“We last saw him out on the farm, he was acting strangely as if he had been stung by a wasp, then he ran off into the village.

“We chased after him but he was always one step ahead of us.”

He said that friends and family were now out searching, and even complete strangers had joined in after spotting the appeal on social media and the entry on doglost.co.uk.

After no sightings for three days, a black cocker spaniel matching Edward's description was spotted in a distressed state on Sopley Common on Sunday at around 5.30pm, some 23 miles from home.

“The lady who saw him said she was almost 100 per cent sure it was him after seeing the pictures,” added Mr Lewis.

“We are quite worried as she described him being quite nervous and anxious, so he might be keeping away from people.

“But we are pretty sure he is still out there somewhere.”

Edward is microchipped but not wearing a collar.

To find out more or report sightings visit Facebook group 'Lets Find Edward!' or call 01305 848743 or 07917794715.