THE owners of runaway pooch Alfie were this evening reunited with their much-loved pet – pictured above with Joan Moriarty, the Killarney lady who went to heroic efforts to locate him.

The Jack Russell was on a visit to Killarney with his Ballincollig owners, Clarissa Shinnick and her husband Donal O’Mahony and their two young daughters, when he went missing in Killarney National Park.

Donal took Alfie for a walk in Muckross on Monday morning. “At 10.49am while walking from Muckross House to Dinis Cottage, a cyclist came up behind Alfie and this must have spooked him,” said Clarissa. “He ran ahead out of sight but never returned and he always would.”

When Joan heard the story, she contacted Clarissa via social media last night and, armed with dog treats, promptly went out searching for the missing pet this morning – eventually locating him close to Bricín Bridge. “He was stuck in a place he simply couldn’t get out of,” Joan told Killarney Advertiser.

“I have two dogs myself so I went out specifically to see if I could find him and I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I heard a noise and followed it up – he took a bit of getting to but it was worth every bit of it; I wouldn’t be able to sleep if either of my dogs were missing!”

A delighted Clarissa added: “The relief of having Alfie back is incredible. He’s happy out and healthy. I didn’t know there were such kind people out there. I’m so grateful to Joan, and to everyone who shared our story on social media. He is the life and soul of our house. He is our best friend. The power of social media is unbelievable.”