AN AKITA puppy has been snatched from a schoolgirl after the thief asked her if he could stroke it.
Kai, a 15-week-old Akita was being taken for a walk by Jessica Price on a field near her home in Bury, Greater Manchester. The thief told Miss Price that he thought the dog was "lovely" and began to stroke it. He then unhooked its lead and ran to a car parked nearby.
Jessica and her family are devastated at losing Kai and have launched an appeal for his return. She said: "Kai is the best dog in the world and I just want him back. I always take Kai for walks and I love playing with him."
Her mother Susan Jones told OUR DOGS: "We appeal to anyone who might know where he is to come forward. We all miss him terribly."
Kai is black and white with a brown neck and is fitted with a microchip.
The incident comes after a string of thefts in Akitas, again fuelling fears that dogs are being stolen to order. Dog Warden Sarah Reynolds said three dogs were stolen recently close to Jessica's home. She said: "In the past month we have seen an increase in this type of theft, but it's not just from gardens. As in this case, thieves are becoming bolder."
Anyone with information can call 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.