Blow in search for missing Dr Michael Mosley as sniffer dog sent back to Athens

Search team in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley
-Credit: (Image: PA)

A sniffer dog drafted in from Athens to hunt for missing TV doctor Michael Mosley has reportedly been sent home. There were fears the animal had 'burnt its paws' during the hillside operation due to the scorching heat.

Dr Mosley vanished on Wednesday, June 5, having been spotted walking through the town of Pedi on the Greek island of Symi. There were fears he'd run into trouble during that hike, but searchers on Saturday night, the focus turned to a cave system known as 'The Abyss'.

However the search effort was dealt a blow as a specially-trained Alsatian, who could 'find someone whether they’re alive or dead', was believed to have been pulled from the mission due to health fears. Speaking live from Symi on BBC Breakfast this morning, correspondent Joe Inwood, said: "The search and rescue dog who had been on the hillside is being sent back to Athens."

READ MORE: TV doctor's wife vows not to 'lose hope' during 'unbearable' search - updates

He continued: "Now that could be a sign that they are winding down, but it’s also being reported that it’s so hot here that the dog has been burning its paws on the hillside and so can’t work because of the heat. Now we don’t know which of those it is but that is a development we’ve had in the last hour or so.”

The Mirror reports that Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas, the mayor of Symi, has saidthe extensive search operation, which has involved police, firefighters with drones, and divers, would continue until Dr Mosley was found.