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Border Collie in car theft scare

Sh Ch Tonkory Guiness
Sh Ch Tonkory Guiness, Group 4 winner at the SKC August show

A TOP Border Collie was stolen in his owner’s car last Friday, prompting further calls for all dog owners to be vigilant and to not leave their dogs unattended.

On Friday 7th December 2007 Ross Green attended the LKA Championship Show with his dog Sh Ch Tonkory Guiness, aka ‘Tyson’.

He was delighted when his friend ad fellow exhibitor Trish Hartfield won her second CC and BOB with Moshanta Movin On Up, a daughter of his own Sh Ch Tonkory Palmerston At Fayken (also Guiness’ father), and stayed late to support them in the Group.

On the return to the benching after the group judging, he found Trish’s daughter and family in a state of shock and despair – it appeared that they were themselves the victims of theft, as Danielle’s handbag was missing, feared stolen. A huge panic followed to try to find Danielle’s car keys, handbag etc and arrange for transport home for them.

Late leaving

This ultimately meant that many of their friends, including Ross were late in leaving the show. However, to much relief the handbag was then recovered, handed in.

On his return journey home, Ross called in at his local, regular garage to collect a newspaper. This was when events took a sinister turn. Ross explains: ‘I made the fatal mistake of leaving my keys in the car directly beside the newspaper stand at the garage, knowing I would only be gone for a few seconds. Within a couple of minutes my car, with Tyson inside had been stolen.’
Ross saw the car being driven out of the garage forecourt and ran after it, trying to get in to the back passenger door to at least grab Tyson, but the young man who was attempting to steal the car accelerated away, still with Tyson in the back of the car.

Ross continues: ‘The most harrowing 48 hours of my life followed. Distraught over the situation and trying desperately hard to get the police to give me updates, it became apparent how difficult it is to convey to them the importance of a missing dog - or the car and contents for that matter. It may be a lesson to be learned to dog owners everywhere that there was certainly not the urgency and/or support that I had expected from the police regarding the theft.

‘Moreover, I became aware of the lack of resources and apparent non co-operation between forces and red tape of certain "departments" not being available until Monday. At one point it appeared that I should have chosen a better day for this to happen!’

A huge source of help, support and great effort came in the form of the missing dog website Doglost ( and also the Border Collie and other dog fraternities through the internet groups and blogs. The details of Tyson, including a photograph and printable poster for anyone to access were available within minutes of contacting Doglost.

Ross pays tribute to Doglost and to his friends and fellow Border Collie enthusiasts and dog lovers: ‘I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of friends, as well as complete strangers who were out distributing posters, making telephone calls and generally offering great support. I cannot thank them all enough. Without everyone I could have not devoted my time to driving around and conducting my own detective investigations into where Tyson could have been taken. I felt that the key to finding him was the direction my vehicle had been taken, and so my efforts were focused in seeking these clues.’

Thankfully, Ross was able to locate his car and the following morning he received the best news he could have hoped for - that Tyson was fit and well in a Veterinary Practice close to the car’s recovery location.

Ross has little praise for the police, feeling that they offered him little or no support with recovering either Tyson or his car, which he now has back in his possession.

‘At the moment I am not at liberty to give further details regarding the event and actions that led to the discovery, pending further police investigations,’ he concludes.‘Tyson is now home and is fine, it has been one hell of an ordeal, thankfully one with a happy ending.’

OUR DOGS’ Chief Reporter Nick Mays, who is President of the anti-dog theft organisation Dog Theft Action commented: ‘I can only urge all dog owners to be ultra vigilant when out and about with their dogs. Please take all necessary precautions and try not to leave them on their own, even in a car, even if it is locked. Thieves only need a few seconds – I was lucky, I got my dog back. Other dog owners are not so lucky.’