A GRIEVING pet owner has thanked the man who found her dog which had died after going missing in the Lake District.

Rocco, a two-year-old Doberman, went missing on April 2 when he and his owners Lois Sands, 24, from Croxteth and Matthew Draper, 24 from Childwall, were making their way back down Crinkle Crags.

Rocco had ran off sparking a search for the ‘most loving dog’.

A more than 500 people strong Facebook group was formed in a bid to return Rocco home safely.

One man, Nigel Appleton, would ultimately discover the dog that had already tragically died by the time he was found on Sunday, April 9.

Lois said: “Nigel was kindly part of our Facebook group of people willing to go out and look for Rocco. He contacted us to say he had found Rocco, but he’d sadly passed away.

“We didn’t believe it at all because we’ve been getting so many hoax calls saying similar things but he sent us his location and photo of Rocco’s harness and we knew straight away.

“We were planning to go down there again for another search so drove there immediately.

"Nigel said he saw him and he’d fallen into a space that you could easily miss, he pulled him out of there and bravely carried Rocco on his shoulders all the way down the mountain.

“Our friends were already there and witnessed him bringing him down, they said Nigel was so upset but pushed on and brought him all the way down, mountain rescue arrived and put Rocco into a private space and covered him up until we got there and then we confirmed that it was him.

"We are unbelievably grateful for what Nigel has done he has allowed us to put our boy to rest peacefully at home and end the constant pain we had all this week wondering where he was.

“Mountain rescue said it was likely that Rocco had fallen and passed away instantly from the impact so did not suffer.”

Lois said her beloved dog now has the ‘best view’ of all.

She said: “Rocco had his own group of friends he met up with every day, they would bark at the back garden gates for each other and in his short little life he sure did spend it full of adventures.

“He’s been to so many places and seen so many views and now he has the best view of all from up in heaven.”