• Tom Cramp

We will not give up on missing Lola, says Olympic hero’s mum

THE family of double gold Olympic medallist Tom Dean are appealing for help after their beloved Labrador went missing.

Lola is a seven-year-old black female and has been microchipped and neutered.

The dog’s disappearance in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, in October 2020 sparked a huge appeal -— led by Tom’s mother, former Brunel University lecturer Jacquie Hughes.

A Facebook group was used to raise awareness of Lola’s disappearance and has gained more than 2,000 members, but the beloved pet is still missing.

Further appeals for help have been launched by the family after Tom’s remarkable success in the Tokyo Olympics in July. The 21-year-old won gold in both the men’s 200m freestyle and the 4x200m freestyle.

There has been a significant increase in dog thefts across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. DogLost, a UK charity that helps victims of dog theft, recorded a 170% increase in the crime, from 172 dogs reported stolen in 2019 to 465 in 2020.

Jacquie Hughes, who taught journalism at Brunel and asked former colleagues for help when the dog went missing, said: “What we’ve seen during lockdown is a huge growth in awareness of dog theft, even new legislation has now been introduced to increase the penalties for those caught having stolen dogs. We’ve benefited from a national awareness, and we are having another big push in November because the idea she has been missing for almost a year is unbelievable.

“We won’t give up.”

l Anyone who has any information relating to Lola’s disappearance is encouraged to call 07585509890 or get in touch through Facebook.