In circumstances resembling a plot straight out of a shaggy dog story, police officers and coastguards spent more than two hours searching for the master of a stray dog – whose owners each thought the other had it.

The dog, believed to be called Musky, was found at Kynance Cove, near The Lizard, by a member of the public, who called the police to say the animal had been roaming and “crying” for most of the day.

They were concerned that the dog’s owner might be stuck at the bottom of the cove, as the dog had a coat on and did not look abandoned.

Police officers and Mullion Coastguard’s cliff rescue team were scrambled, with a police helicopter and a search and rescue crew from RNAS Culdrose also put on standby although neither were called out in the event.

It was discovered that the dog was micro-chipped, with a contact number registered for someone in Falmouth.

With the person out of contact, however, police officers were forced to carry out a search of the area around their address.

Meanwhile coastguards carried out a search of the cliff path and shoreline in case someone was in trouble.

At 5pm a woman called to say the dog had been re-homed with a Constantine family. At around the same time a couple approached police officers at Kynance saying they owned the dog.

A police spokesman said: “They had brought two vehicles with them and both thought each other had the dog. They got home and then realised.”

The spokesman stressed the importance of owners having their pet information updated.

He said: “If the dog had got a tag with the owner’s name and address on it this could have saved a lot of time. I would encourage all dog owners to check their animals have some contact detail on them, in case they get lost.”