Burglars who spied on a young woman as she took her dog for a walk later ransacked her home and stole him, says a heartbroken pet owner.Ayla Williamson, 22, and her partner Dan have been left devastated after thieves broke into her flat in Stockport, Greater Manchester, on Friday night. She came home to find the front door wide open and her beloved nine-month-old French bulldog, Winston, missing.
The burglars ignored everything else in the property, leaving a gold watch worth more than £1,000 and other valuables such as an iPad and TV.
Ayla is convinced they targeted her home specifically for little Winston, due to the rising popularity of his breed, which can sell for up to £2,500 per puppy.
The pet owner is desperate to find the puppy, who helped her through a bout of depression, and is worried she won’t get him back following a spate of dognappings in the area.
Ayla said: ‘The thieves left a gold watch and an iPad, but they just took Winston and nothing else.
‘They must have been watching us, I take him out every morning and they must have known he was here alone and targeted the property to steal him.
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‘I’ve heard when this happens it is because dognapping groups have ordered the dog because they want that particular pet to breed from.
‘We were worried he might be taken as there seems to be a lot of it in this area, we’ve heard about friends having theirs taken and someone tried to steal our friends dog in the park…
‘We are devastated, we are not sleeping. Every time there is a noise I go to the door because I think it might be him.’A spate of house robberies involving Frenchies being stolen have been reported including 11 puppies being nicked from a house in South Wales in January.
Ayla believes her flat, located above a shop, was broken into between 9pm on Friday and 1am on Saturday and has reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police.
She is now pleading for anyone with information about Winston’s disappearance to come forward.
Ayla said: ‘I went out for Friday night and when I came back at 1am the door was wide open, the lock was broken and there was plaster all over the floor.
‘Winston was a really good dog, he helped me through depression.
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‘We paid £2,500 for him – he is microchipped but we haven’t heard anything.
‘There will be a reward for anyone who knows anything, we would be so grateful, someone must know something.’A spokesman for GMP said: ‘We can confirm the burglary of a French bulldog stolen from a flat was reported to GMP.
‘Officers are investigating.’