A pensioner has been left distraught after a masked man ran off with her beloved pet in broad daylight.Ann Cowlard, 72, was out walking her seven dogs last week when her pug Dora was stolen.
She said a man dressed all in black approached her by an alleyway.
He apparently bent down to pet them, saying: ‘You’re lovely doggies, aren’t you?’ before loosening the pug’s collar and bolting away.Searches around the coastal town of Lydd, in Kent, by police and members of the community have proved fruitless so far.
Even television star Paul O’Grady, well known for his love of dogs, has shared Dora’s missing poster on social media, calling it ‘one of the lowest crimes’.
Ann, a registered dog trainer, said: ‘I can’t explain how devastating something like this is.
‘I do the same walk every day at the same time, but I definitely won’t be from now on.
‘I was about to go down the alleyway behind the community centre. There was a man all in black, wearing a balaclava.
This is a copycat version of the kind made by Greenies.
‘I stood to one side because of social distancing and I thought he got a little bit too close and personal.
‘When he came through he bent down. He was stroking one of their heads and unclipping the lead with the other hand.
‘I screamed and went hysterical but he picked her up and ran off with her.’
Ann, who has a lung condition, tried to chase the thief but couldn’t keep up.
She has resorted to social media to try and locate who did it. After seeing an image online of a transit van with multiple cages in the back, she believes there are a group of them targeting pedigree dogs.
Since lockdown started there has been a surge in dog thefts as the price of the animals has sky-rocketed due to increased pet demand.Ann thinks no one would want Dora anyway, and added: ‘She’s going deaf and has lost half her teeth.
‘I’ve got to keep myself stable for my other dogs.
‘When it first happened, I said I’m not going out of the house anymore – but I can’t do that because the dogs need exercise.’
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