THE last few months a huge number of sporting dogs, gundogs,
terriers and lurchers have gone missing, (believed stolen)
in the south west of England, but probably even wider spread.
Areas affected spread from Andover to Southampton to Gloucester. Within the last month over 50 dogs have been reported in the Dorset/Hants area alone.
Notice boards in veterinary surgeries and pet stores and pet stores have several posters asking for information regards stolen/missing dogs. Almost every week local news papers print either private adverts or general stories of stolen dogs and warning dog owners to beware.
H Gill of the Birkenwald GSPs who lives near Gillingham tells
OUR DOGS of a friend who parked her car in a busy public car
park to go shopping for about half an hour, around 3pm, when
she returned somebody had tried to force the car door lock
and failed but then had smashed the window instead, and taken
her 17 month old Border Terrier bitch, nothing else was taken.
A gundog trainer took three dogs into some fields for training, while he took the first two to hunt in the bushes, the third dog a 14 month old solid black German Shorthaired Pointer, was stolen from his Land Rover. Another theft involved a fully trained spaniel was taken to hunt in his owners woods, and promptly disappeared. When a go-between was asked to speak to the locals, the dog was eventually returned for a £500 reward.
In the New Forest a Lurcher bitch which was still nursing a litter of puppies was stolen, but was returned when a local TV programme showed the story, but last week the mother of that bitch was stolen.
A national TV programme recently told the story of a vicar from Gloucester, who had his terrier stolen and was asked to pay a ransom of £3000 for the return of the dog.
Having your dog stolen is not only a terrible shock, but also unimaginably upsetting. As my friend said, she would rather the dog got run over in the road, as then, at least she would know what happened to it. Not knowing where your beloved dog is, how it is kept or treated, whether it is alive or dead, is absolutely terrible, said Mrs Gill.