Ex-BBC journalist’s beloved dog who went viral last year dies aged 14

·3 min read
Cabbage, who trended on Twitter last year when she was stolen, has died (Rory Cellan-Jones)
Cabbage, who trended on Twitter last year when she was stolen, has died (Rory Cellan-Jones)

A dog who became an internet sensation after going viral has died aged 14.

Cabbage the collie began trending on Twitter after she and five other dogs were in a van that was stolen in East Acton in November.

Owner and former BBC journalist Cellan-Jones took to Twitter to ask users for help finding her in posts that generated thousands of likes and retweets.

Five of the dogs were reunited with their owners after they were found “wandering around Park Royal together” following the huge social media campaign.

The sixth, Bafi the cockerpoo, was later found in Putney.

Former BBC journalist Rory Cellan-Jones has now revealed that his family have “had to say goodbye” to “lovely” Cabbage.

“For 14 years she was a lovely, energetic and really smart member of our family,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It was time for her to go but we miss her so much.”

“For 14 years she was a lovely, energetic and really smart member of our family,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It was time for her to go but we miss her so much.”

Cabbage had already amassed a cult online following before she was stolen as Cellan-Jones regularly posted pictures of her on early morning walks.

On Friday morning he shared a final picture, writing: “Home after a gentle stroll.”

He thanked his followers for their support, adding that the park during his walk this morning “felt empty”.

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker and broadcaster Sophie Raworth offered their condolences.

“So sorry to hear that Rory,” Walker replied, while Raworth said she “loved Cabbage’s adventures”.

Cabbage went viral last year after a thief stole her dog walker’s van after he left the engine running with the key in the ignition and dogs inside.

“Something terrible has happened,” her owner wrote at the time.

“Our dog walker’s van with our dog Cabbage in it has been stolen while he was picking up another pet… Please look out for a black Ford Transit.”

“This was (an) extraordinary outpouring of concern… Social media has lots of negative sides, but you can use it for really good purposes,” Cellan-Jones said at the time.

Ford’s press office later alerted the dog walker that the van had a feature which enabled drivers to track the vehicle through an app.

“Ford would not have known about this before the age of social media,” Cellan-Jones said.

The van was located in Park Royal, around a mile-and-a-half from where four of the dogs were soon found, with the other two located the same evening.

More than 60,000 Twitter users celebrated Cabbage’s safe return by liking the former journalist’s celebratory tweet and photo of his dog back home.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting