Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dognapped! Owner Fears His Four Stolen Pets Have Already Been Sold

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dognapped! Owner Fears His Four Stolen Pets Have Already Been Sold

Article excerpt

Byline: DICK MURRAY

A GANG of dognappers cut through a metal fence to steal four pets during the night.

The first that farrier Robert Sparrowhawk, 26, knew of his animals' disappearance was when he went outside to give them their breakfast and found them missing.

He has now put up posters near his home in Kent appealing for information about the whereabouts of lurchers Toes - named because of the distinctive white patches on his feet - and Bee and red lakeland terriers Ruby (not pictured) and Jack.

But he fears the dogs have been sold and he will never find them.

"I cannot tell you how upset I am over this, they are pets and lovely animals," said Mr Sparrowhawk.

"They are all about three years old and two of them I have had since they were pups."

Of the theft, he said: "I didn't hear a thing. They were missing when I went to get them their meal and then I saw the cut fence."

The thieves cut through the steel mesh fence and two padlocks to reach the animals, kept in kennels beside Mr Sparrowhawk's house in Brasted, near Westerham.

The raid is the latest in a string of such thefts. It is estimated that up to 50,000 dogs are taken each year, with valuable pedigree animals being stolen to order and others being used for illegal dog-fighting.

Victims include Nicky Henderson, the Queen's horseracing trainer, whose border terrier puppy was taken from his yard at Lambourn, Berkshire.

Lionel Blair's collie was snatched two weeks ago while being walked by his wife in a park close to their home in Surrey. Volunteers with night goggles have been scouring the Suffolk countryside - up to 120 miles away from where the dog disappeared - after reports that a dog similar to Blair's pet had been seen dumped close to a travellers' camp. …

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