Dog owners warned of ‘puppy snatchers’ after attempts to steal pets on walks

A woman has voiced her upset after claiming a man tried to steal her dog during a walk. Angie Partridge believes that her young cavapoo Mabel was at risk of getting snatched during a recent exercise session, in order to be turned into a ‘breeding machine’. She was walking Mabel, and her other dog Stanley, down a cycle path by New Waltham Academy in Grimsby when she was approached by a cyclist from behind. Angie explained: ‘He started asking about Mabel – her name, her breed and how old she was.’

Well used to chatting with other dog walkers, she didn’t think much of him asking about her prized pups – especially with them being a popular breed. She told the Grimsby Telegraph: ‘Both my dogs are red Cavapoos, which are quite popular at the moment, and Mabel is only six months old. We had paid £1,000 for her in January but they can go for as much as £4,000.’ But alarm bells started ringing after the cyclist, who didn’t acknowledge the older, male dog, rode a short distance away, then called for Mabel to come to him. Acting quickly, Angie explained: ‘He put his arm down to pick up her up, but in the split second I knew I had to call her back. ‘Luckily, she is quite timid and came back to me straight away. The man biked off without saying anything else.

All this boils down to the value that dogs currently have.

According to the dog-training business, the price of dogs has ‘skyrocketed’ during lockdown, and they’ve seen a spike in social media reports of attempted dog thefts around the Holton-le-Clay, Waltham and Humberston area. In a message posted this week on social media, they said: ‘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. ‘Those people will try and get your dog away from you using their name and treats, even if it is on a lead. A snap collar, harness or lead clip is very easy to unsnap and if the person is on a bike or in a car a dog can be gone in seconds. ‘If you meet people that stop you and start asking questions specifically about your dog be aware, and if necessary move away.’

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