A DISABLED woman believes she was the target of would-be thieves who ‘inadvertently’ let her blind dog loose in South Lakeland.

Carol Hall, who is in a wheelchair as a result of MS and a severely damaged spine, said she thought ‘somebody’ wanted to steal her assistant dog Neo on Saturday (July 19) from her Haverthwaite home but unintentuionally let four-year-old Mickey out.

“We’ve had searches out every day all day and we’ve even had sightings but still haven’t found him,” said the 43-year-old.

The mother-of-two said she left her house in the afternoon and when she returned the closed internal door was open and her rescued Romanian street dog had gone.

“He’s been blind from birth and can only see a slight amount of light and dark,” she added.

Ms Hall, who trains her own assistant dogs, which can do everything from taking off her clothes to pushing an emergency button, said she and her twin 15-year-old children had only had Mickey for two months after their beloved golden labrador Woody had died aged eight from meningitis.

“We wanted to get a special needs dog so he’s just a pet,” added Ms Hall.

And although Ms Hall, who suffers from sudden losses of consciousness, reported the disappearance to the police she said they were not investigating it as there was no sign of damage.

She continued: “I feel absolutely terrible about it and I can understand but it just feels horrible.”

Searches were being carried out with a ‘scent dog’ and a specially trained ‘tracker dog’ was being brought up from Kent to search today (July 24). Bristol’s Happily Ever After Dog Rescue, where Mickey came from, is offering a £500 reward for his return.

“I think he just touched their hearts as he was starving when he came over from a pound in Romania less than four months ago,” she added.

And though the search continues on a local level, it has gone viral on social media with more than 1,000 shares on Facebook, with a dedicated Find Blind Dog Mickey page with 193 likes, and retweets from celebrities including BBC Radio 6 DJ Stuart Maconie on Twitter.

“There have been sightings and we think he is in the woods behind Backbarrow above the railway line,” added Ms Hall.