A Dogue de Bordeaux puppy believed to be one of a litter stolen last month has been found after an anonymous tip-off. The valuable puppy was one of four taken from a kennel at a house in Romford, Essex, in an early-morning raid.
The thieves used drugged meat to sedate the puppies parents, unscrewed the doors to the kennel and enticed the four nine-week-old animals with a packet of ham. The dogs, which are still quite rare in this country, are worth up to £1,400 each and could fetch £800 on the black market.
The dog will have to undergo DNA testing to prove that it is one of the missing litter before it can be handed back to the owner.
DC Matt James, who is investigating the theft, said that police found the dog after searching an address in Romford.
The puppies owner, accountant Peter Goldberg, 27, said last month: "The dogs have only been registered in this country for about five years so they are quite new here.
"They are worth about £1,400 each and unfortunately there is a market for them out there. I dont know if the people that took them know their worth so they may just dump them by the side of the road. It is horrible not knowing. When I discovered what had happened I felt really gutted."
Dognapping has developed into a serious criminal industry and, with pedigree dogs worth up to £1,000 on the black market, is lucrative and relatively easy to commit. In the past eight months it is estimated that up to a thousand dogs have been stolen, according to one animal rescue group. Sometimes dogs are sold on the black market or are recovered for a fee which their distressed owners are only too happy to pay to recover their pets.