VANISHED: Where have all our dogs gone?
ACCORDING to statistical data, next weekend a mastiff-type dog will go missing in the Clarence Valley.
Those most likely to be a target will come from a rural property 30-50km from Grafton.
This was the case for Evie, Milo, Ruby and even a litter of puppies who all disappeared from their homes.
However, Jax, a white bull arab, added an interesting twist to these statistics when he disappeared from a camping ground at Minnie Water on Saturday, July 6.
"Jax is out there with me almost every weekend so he knows the area well," owner Ryan Cochrane said.
"It's all just a bit weird because he never runs away. If I walked into a cafe he would just sit at the door and wait for me without tying him up, so it's just a bit odd that he's up and disappeared."
Mr Cochrane searched bushland surrounding Minnie Water, leaving food, clothing and even Jax's bed around various locations, before using a drone to cover difficult-to-reach areas inside Yuraygir National Park.
"I also brought in Tracey Knox, who has champion tracking dogs, and she came out to look for him," he said.
"We went out for about an hour trekking through the bush on a scent we thought was Jax, but nothing came from it."
Thanks to the power of social media, information about a missing pet can spread quickly across the Clarence Valley and Australia wide. And, for the most part, lost animals are reunited with their family.
Since raising the alarm on Facebook, Jax's photo has been shared more than 1000 times, and that number is growing each time Mr Cochrane posts an update on his search.
"The whole Facebook community have gotten behind it. I get phone calls from people who don't even live here who are offering to help search for him. It's been unreal," Mr Cochrane said.
"We've had a few suspected sightings and with the help of the community we've just swamped those areas."
Yet Jax remains missing.
It's a helpless feeling Alisha Campbell can relate to. When Koda went missing in December she launched an extensive search campaign.
In addition to combing the area he was last seen, Ms Campbell posted signs throughout the region, conducted mailbox drops, media interviews, set up a Facebook page and automated phone calls, hired dog tracker Tracey Knox and even consulted a pet psychic who believes Koda is in Moree.
But despite these ongoing efforts, neither Mr Cochrane nor Miss Campbell's dogs have been found, raising serious concerns they've been stolen.
"I've thought of every possible scenario," Mr Cochrane said.
"He could just be still out lost in the bush, but I don't know. If it is something dodgy, I don't think the people responsible realise the can of worms they've opened."
In the meantime, Mr Cochrane has urged Clarence Valley residents to remain vigilant.
"If anyone sees anything dodgy, write it down, write down number plates, because you never know."