DESPERATE owners are appealing for help to track down their beloved pets after five dogs went missing from the same area within a week.
Julie Ward, a volunteer for doglost.co.uk said the five animals were reported missing from Eltham in February, an unusually high number.
Though one, a Yorkshire terrier called Jack, has since been found by an elderly couple near a sliproad at Rochester Way, the others are still missing.
One of them, 16-year-old Jack Russell Max, who went missing on February 12, is practically blind and deaf.
Ms Ward said: "His owner took him on their regular walk to Eltham Park South. He got into the park, turned around and Max wasn't there.
"Because of his sight, sometimes Max just followed a pair of legs so he may have gone off after someone else."
She said: "Sixteen is old for a dog. It would be lovely for him to be at home when he passes away.
"People need to know if their dogs are in a happy home. Are they being looked after well or are they out in the streets, starving?"
Also missing are Yorkshire terriers Ema and Roxy who went missing from their home on February 16, along with Alfie who went missing from a garden on February 19.
Ms Ward said: "Dogs should be collared and microchipped. If somebody finds a dog, they should contact the police and report it.
"Unfortunately, many people see a dog and assume they're a stray.
"People often just sell them on. In the worst case scenario they're picked up and used as bait dogs for fighting rings."
She believes vets should routinely scan new patients for microchips, echoing a campaign recently launched by Bruce Forsyth.
If you can help, visit the website. Alternatively, visit the Missing Eltham Dogs Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/393798330635126/