A LEADING high street supermarket refused to display a poster about a pet dog that was stolen locally, claiming that it was against company policy to do so.
On Wednesday, June 22nd, John Granat’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Sammy wandered out of the open door at the back of a unit of shops where John works in central Reading, Berkshire. Sammy, now aged around 11 who was taken in by John’s late mother as a rescue some years ago has cataracts, and was most likely unable to retrace his steps to the shop units.
When John discovered that Sammy was missing, he scoured the local area for him and called in at the nearby Three Guineas Pub on Reading Station. CCTV footage showed two men befriending Sammy, and one of them picked him up and walked away with him. The men made no contact with the police, RSPCA or dog wardens. The dog is microchipped and was neutered many years ago, so is no use for breeding purposes.
The theft was reported to DogLost UK who have put up posters about Sammy locally and have posted his details on their website, hopeful that the men, who may be opportunistic thieves, will soon get in touch to claim a reward for the dog’s safe return.
However, to add insult to injury, a couple of days after Sammy was stolen, John called in at the Friars Street branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket and asked a member of staff at the Customer Service desk whether he could display a poster of Sammy in the store. He was very taken aback when she brusquely refused his request, stating that it was against company policy to do so.
"Although I think it’s a stupid policy, if indeed she is correct, she was extremely rude and offhand about the whole thing," John, from Bourne End, Bucks, told OUR DOGS. "She wouldn’t even discuss the matter with me, she simply turned her back on me and walked off. The young male colleague who was there with her was a little more sympathetic but shrugged and said ‘Well, it’s against company policy’ and that was that.
"It’s bad enough to have Sammy stray and then be taken like this, but this just makes it so much worse. He was my mother’s dog and she died just four weeks ago, so he is my only link to my family now. I tried to explain all of this to the lady in Sainsbury’s, but she just wouldn’t even discuss the matter – so much for customer service."
Jayne Hayes of DogLost commented: "I think it is disgraceful that a high street store like Sainsbury’s, which makes millions of pounds profit every year are so unhelpful to a dog owner who simply wants to advertise the theft of his pet. After all, they’re happy to sell customers pet food and accessories and to sell them pet insurance, but a little helpful act seems beyond them – and John was quite prepared to pay a fee to have the poster displayed."
OUR DOGS contacted Sainsbury’s Head Office in London, but their press officer failed to contact the paper back with an answer as to whether or not this was, in fact, company policy before we went to press on Tuesday afternoon.
If you have any information leading to the safe return of Sammy, please contact DogLost on: 01909 733366 or via their website: DogLost.co.uk. Or call John Granat on: 0118 951 0050 or 07818 092904. A reward is offered for Sammy’s safe return.