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Stafford stolen from rescue centre

A STAFFORDSHIRE Bull Terrier named George has been taken from an animal rescue centre in Ince Blundell, near Liverpool.

Four-year-old George was taken by a man, who used a fake ID on Friday April 7th. The man, who was described as heavily tattooed, left a mobile phone and a set of keys that he claimed were his as security as he took George for a walk to ‘get to know him’.

He never returned, and fears are growing that the man, who gave a false address and name to staff at the Freshfields Animal Rescue centre, has taken the dog to be used in illegal dogfights.

The suspicions of dog fighting arose given the man's obvious reluctance to be identified and therefore background checked, before he took George away from the centre. Staffordshire Bull Terriers, especially strong specimens like George are sadly quite popular amongst those involved in illegal dog fighting.

Marge Albert, a trustee of the rescue centre, said the man left his name, and an address in Southport, as well as mobile number. Staff tried to contact the man, and it was apparent that all of the details he had left were false, and the items left for security were worthless.

George had been at the rescue centre for a year. Mrs Albert said: ‘We’ve called the police to let them know what's happened. We are really concerned about George because Staffordshire Bull Terriers are often used for fighting. That's why we're offering a reward for the safe return of this dog.’

Margaret Nawrockyi of the anti-dog theft lobby group Dog Theft Action said: ‘This case highlights the intentions of dog thieves today. This audacious example of dog theft by a professional dog thief unfortunately is repeated with increased frequency throughout the UK.

‘It is vital that anyone involved with dogs – including rescue centres, breeders and ordinary dog owners – remain extra vigilant because it is clear that dog theft is Britain’s fastest growing crime.’

Anyone who knows of George’s whereabouts is asked to call Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre on 0151-931 1604