Man attempts to steal
smuggled pup from Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre
STAFF at Dogs Trust
Merseyside have been left in shock after a
man tried to steal a 4 month old French Bulldog puppy from the Rehoming Centre.
Managers at the Huyton Rehoming Centre believe
the man had hidden in the grounds of the site, on Monday, 4 December 2017, until
the centre was closed to the public and darkness had fallen.
He entered the puppy nursery area, at around
4.45pm, having watched the staff member who was looking after the litter of 5
enter a neighbouring puppy kennel.
It is thought the puppy was possibly intended for sale in the run up to
Christmas, highlighting concerns from the charity that the message behind its
famous slogan:- 'A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas' which
turns 40 next year; is still not getting through, as people continue to gift
puppies as presents without thinking of the long term responsibility that comes
with dog ownership.
Fortunately, as the man began to make his way to the site entrance he was
spotted by a member of staff trying to hide the puppy, Pierre, under his coat.
Having been alerted to the situation, members
of staff chased him to the entrance and, realising he had been spotted, the man
put the puppy on the ground by the side of the road before running off.
Assistant Manager, Catherine Stulberg, says:- "We are so shocked that this
has happened and thank goodness we got Pierre back, who is absolutely fine.
French Bulldogs are a very popular breed and cost thousands if purchased from a
responsible breeder so we suspect he was either being stolen as a Christmas
present or for breeding. Whatever the reason, it?s absolutely despicable and
unbelievable that someone would go to these lengths to get a French Bulldog
puppy. We are so grateful to our staff for their quick action."
Pierre and his four litter mates have been cared for by Dogs Trust since being
seized at Dover, when unscrupulous breeders were caught trying to illegally
import them into Great Britain.
The charity, as part of its ongoing undercover
investigation into Puppy Smuggling; a sickening trade which sees thousands of
underage puppies illegally smuggled into the country, destined to be sold to
unsuspecting members of the public; launched the Puppy Pilot scheme to care for
smuggled puppies, by funding their quarantine costs and rehoming them
responsibly. So far, over 600 puppies, just like Pierre, have been cared for
through the pilot.
Catherine says:- "This litter have been
through such an ordeal so they have been getting lots of TLC since arriving and
we?re delighted to say they have all found wonderful forever homes, which
they?ll be going to very shortly. The welfare of our dogs whilst they are with
us is of paramount importance and of course we are very security conscious. In
the 18 years we have been here we have never had a puppy stolen, but we are
reviewing our security procedures to ensure this can never happen again. We
encourage every dog owner to be extremely vigilant and ensure the security of
your dog whether in your home, in your garden or out in public."
Whilst Dogs Trust would always champion rehoming a rescue dog, it has released
advice to help anyone looking to get a puppy to ensure that they are buying
responsibly, and not accidentally fuelling the Puppy Smuggling trade by
purchasing a puppy that could have been illegally imported.