WINSTON, the British bulldog who went missing from his Paignton home, has been found dead in a nearby pond.
Owner Phil Yeomans, of Broadpark Road, said his family were ‘absolutely inconsolable’ after hearing the sad news.
Phil told the Herald Express that it is still a mystery how Winston drowned in a shallow pond.
He said: “Heartbroken is not even close to how we are feeling.”
"The pond where he was found was right at the other end of our road. We had put a leaflet through the door but the owners were away on holiday.
"Obviously we had been up and down all the back gardens shouting Winston's name.
"I had paid for a private tracker dog to come down from Kent and the woman phoned to say she had arrived. Then half-an-hour later we had a phone call from these people who have only recently moved in. Their house is in our street, only about 400 to 500ft away from our house.
"It is still a mystery how we died. I have not been down to see the pond. I couldn't face it.
"I want to thank everybody who helped in the search. Winston's story went all over the world - there were millions of people who shared on social media. We heard from people in Texas and Australia."
The beloved pet went missing early on Monday, December 30, sparking a huge hunt with 1,500 missing posters and a social media campaign to find him. A £2,000 reward was offered for his safe return.
The family had spent up to 18 hours a day out looking for Winston, who was nearly four years old.
On the day Winston went missing, the family had got up and found he had gone out through a dog flap and somehow escaped from the garden.