A dog owner has issued a warning about "puppy snatchers", after her dog was almost taken while on a walk in the park.
A dog owner from Grimsby has issued a chilling warning against “puppy snatchers”, after claiming her puppy was nearly snatched while on a walk in her local park.
Angie Partridge was walking her young cavapoo Mabel, along with older dog Stanley, down a cycle path near her house when the alarming incident took place.
Speaking to Grimsby Telegraph following the ordeal, Angie explained that she was approached by a cyclist who began to ask her questions about Mabel, including her age, breed and name. She was used to stopping for a chat with fellow dog walkers, so initially didn’t think the incident strange.
“Both my dogs are red Cavapoos, which are quite popular at the moment, and Mabel is only six months old,” she told the publication. “We had paid £1,000 for her in January but they can go for as much as £4,000.”
Cavapoos like Mabel are a cross between Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and poodles. They are becoming increasingly popular as family pets.
Angie noted that the cyclist took no interest in her older dog Stanley, who is male.
“Then the man biked away a bit, and called Mabel to him. He put his arm down to pick up her up, but in the split second I knew I had to call her back,” said Angie.
“Luckily, she is quite timid and came back to me straight away. The man biked off without saying anything else.
“Everything happened quickly but when I told people about it later, they said they’d heard about lots of dog thefts recently. Now I’m 99 per cent sure the man was trying to steal Mabel,” she said.
Angie voiced concern that Mabel would have been stolen to be used as a “breeding machine”. “Young female dogs like her are sometimes taken and used as breeding machines to produce more puppies,” she said.
“It’s really quite sad, and I would have been devastated if anything had happened to her. I won’t be letting her walk off the lead for a long time.”
A similar warning was issued by Little Tykes Dog Hub in Grimsby, who claim to have seen a spike in social media reports of attempted dog snatches in the area.
The dog trainers took to their Facebook to warn, ‘People approaching you and your dog or puppy and asking you your dog’s name, age, breed and sometimes how much the breed cost to buy are most likely trying to target you.
‘Young, un-neutered dogs from six months to one year are most at risk of been taken for breeding.” The trainers warned that snatchers are likely to use dog’s names and offer treats to coax them away. They also alerted dog owners to the fact that snap collars, harnesses and lead clips are very easy to unsnap.
‘If you meet people that stop you and start asking questions specifically about your dog be aware, and if necessary move away.’
To protect dogs against snatching, the trainers advise teaching them a recall that is a sound, rather than just shouting their name.