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Abusive texts sent to dog theft victim

A DEVASTATED dog owner has told how the people who stole her dog have been sending her teasing and threatening text messages. Kim Hodgson, whose dog 'Blue' was stolen just over two weeks ago, believes that the thieves have already sold her dog on and are now just getting their kicks from tormenting her.

Kim told OUR DOGS: ‘My dog, a Weimaraner bitch, 8 months old called Blue (pictured) disappeared from my garden on the 9th October. She is microchipped. I reported it to the police and contacted the dog wardens, rescue centres, missing pets agencies, local councils, dog wardens and road clearance crews. ‘Since the search I have put up over 700 posters and 300 mail drops covering Kent, Surrey and Sussex. A week after she went missing I began to receive text messages saying she had been found.’

The missing dog registry Doglost UK and the local dog warden helped Kim to deal with the texts and advised her on the best course of action. Over the space of a few days, events took a sinister turn as the ransom demand went up to £2,000 and the person texting Kim was threatening to hurt her dog and send her Blue’s collar as proof.

On Doglost’s advice, Kim reported the matter to Kent police who treated the matter seriously and sent a detective to take a statement from Kim and make further enquiries. "He saw the text messages and the police are now trying now to track the phone that sent the texts but this takes a week or so,’ added Kim. ‘In the meantime I have contacted all airports, country parks, brownies and cub scout groups and have sent posters.’

But worse was to come. Late last week Kim received another text, which she describes as probably the sickest of them all, saying; ‘once upon a time there were 4 doggies, then there were 3 then there were 2.’ I also have two German shepherds and a 13 year old English sheepdog. It makes me shudder, wondering if they’re planning to steal any of them.’

The local newspaper published an article on October 26th about Blue’s theft and the resulting text messages, after which Kim received a tip-off that Blue had been sold on to a youngish woman who was allegedly seen as she drove off in a 4-wheel drive car, possibly a Land Rover Discovery. Kim adds: ‘She put an obedience collar and lead on Blue suggesting she is into dog training or agility. She may well be out of Kent by now.’

The police have taken the details of all of the taunting text messages that she has received and are in the process of tracking the sender.

Margaret Nawrockyi of the dog theft awareness group Dog Theft Action commented:

‘Unfortunately incidences of this kind are not isolated. We have been made aware of similar circumstances where owners have received extremely offensive and vicious messages and phone calls. The owner of a stolen dog is in a catch 22 situation. They desperately need to publish their contact details so that they can be informed of any news about their dog but they can be targeted by unscrupulous people who may or may not have information about the dog in question.’

There is a possibility that the perpetrators of these vicious messages have committed the offence of either ‘handling stolen property’ or potentially 'an attempt to commit blackmail'. If these persons in fact do not have the dog, then they may have committed the offence of 'attempting to commit a criminal deception.’