Hunts pet owner's dognap warning

BE aware of dognappers as the criminals are operating in Huntingdonshire and could have their eye on your pet. That s the warning from a dog owner from Hilton whose two lurchers were stolen from a park in St Ives on January 16. Luckily, Hayley Smith ha

BE aware of 'dognappers' as the criminals are operating in Huntingdonshire and could have their eye on your pet.

That's the warning from a dog owner from Hilton whose two lurchers were stolen from a park in St Ives on January 16.

Luckily, Hayley Smith has since been reunited with Archie and Rory - thanks to some help from readers of The Hunts Post - but is concerned other dogs will be stolen.

Her two lurchers disappeared at the park in Hill Rise after they ran off into a wooded area.


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After a week of searching Archie was discovered 66 miles away on January 20 in Fakenham while Rory was found the following day in Upwell after a Hunts Post reader saw him and responded to an advert placed in the newspaper.

Miss Smith, 34, described the week as the "worst of her life".

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"They are my babies and it was heartbreaking to think I would never see them again," she said.

"The worry of not knowing where they were, if they were lost, hurt or even dead was the worst part. It made eating and sleeping almost impossible. It is absolutely fantastic to have them back."

Miss Smith, an operations manager at FoneStarz in St Ives, believes Archie and Rory were stolen.

"I never thought anyone would want to steal my scruffy lurchers but there is no other explanation. When my boys run off they always come back but on this occasion they disappeared without a trace."

She believes the thieves dumped Archie and Rory after finding out they were neutered and too lazy to be used for hare coursing.

Miss Smith added: "I would love to thank your readers for all their help keeping an eye out for Archie and Rory and ultimately calling to reunite us. Advertising in The Hunts Post works."

The dogs' details were also posted on www.doglost.co.uk, a website where thousands of dogs are reported lost or stolen each year.

A spokesman for the site said: "There is evidence that dog stealing is happening an awful lot and people should be aware. Dogs are often targeted for breeding or stolen to order.

"Owners can vary the day, time and area they walk their dog to avoid becoming a victim. As soon as a dog is out of an owner's sight it can be picked up by someone and transported to other parts of the country without a trace. Hayley was very lucky to get both her dogs back."

Dogs should also be micro-chipped, she added.

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