A SPATE of dog thefts has prompted a charity to issue a warning to pet owners.
Since March a number of dogs have been stolen by opportunist thieves, leaving owners devastated and turning to social media and poster campaigns to try and find their beloved animals.
The latest theft in Coventry on Wednesday (May 8) saw a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier taken from a car on Hipswell Highway. His owner had gone to check he could take the dog into a relative’s home and when he returned minutes later the pup was gone.
It comes just weeks after a male Weimaraner and a female Dachshund were stolen from their owner’s garden in Kineton.
Other nearby thefts include two Chihuahuas from a car in Hinckley, and a litter of six-week-old crossbreed puppies from Daventry.
Rugby-based dog rescue charity Pawprints has issued a warning to owners to take extra care of their pets.
Spokeswoman Anita Twigger told the Observer: “There has been an increase in opportunist thefts of dogs in a close vicinity to us.
“We are warning the community to take extra care of their dogs, don’t leave your dogs unsupervised, beware of strangers approaching you asking questions about your dog and please keep your dogs within your line of sight when out walking – be extra vigilant.
“Do not leave them in your car, not even for a minute, and definitely never leave them tied up outside shops.”
The devastated owners of Weimaraner Loki and Dachshund Pippin have told the Observer their lives are on ‘on hold’ since their ‘best friends’ were stolen.
Janelle Dooler and daughter Ysabelle Martin, who live together in Kineton, have travelled the country following potential leads.
Janelle said: “I feel devastated that for the first time in Ysabelle’s life I cannot make it better. She cancelled her 21st birthday party recently and just cannot function.
“She will not let our other dogs in the garden without being with them, they are not left in the house if we go out – she just will not take the risk.
“We travel the country when we get a lead, we have visited gypsy camps and are worried Pippin could be at a puppy farm.
“Our life is on hold and our family is changed forever. We have gone from being very trusting to being suspicious of everyone.
Call 07824905708 with any information about Loki and Pippin and ring police on 101 with any information about any of the other stolen dogs.