Co-op shopper ‘heartbroken’ after beloved dog Flora stolen outside shop
A heartbroken pensioner is appealing for the return of his cocker spaniel – who was stolen from outside a Co-op branch in Outwood, Yorkshire.
Flora, a three-year-old spayed female cocker spaniel, is thought to have been snatched by three young men in a red Vauxhall Corsa van after her owner – a man in his late sixties named Tony – popped in to get some milk and a newspaper.
Tony's niece Claire McCormack is leading a social media campaign to help Tony find his beloved dog. She posted to Facebook : “My uncle is distraught! Flora is working cocker spaniel has just been stolen from the Co-op in Outwood in Wakefield.
“She is 3 years old ..police have been informed !!! Please share on all Wakefield dog sites… She is his total life !!!”
Tony lives alone, and for the lockdown period Flora has been his only company. Claire says she has received some promising leads and she is hopeful that her uncle will get his dog back.
Flora is microchipped and her disappearance has been flagged with the microchip register and the police.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "A crime has been recorded in relation to this report and enquiries are ongoing."
Dog theft has increased dramatically over the past year.
Demand for dogs has soared during the pandemic and police say that thefts of pedicure dogs increased by two thirds during the first lockdown. Dog walkers have targeted by violent criminals intent on stealing specific breeds.
A kind-hearted donor has this week offered a £1,000 reward to help find a young girl’s pug after it was snatched in Rotherham, Yorkshire, last September.
Lucy the pug went missing from the Thurcroft area of Rotherham on September 2, 2020, and has not been seen since.
Lucy's owner, Chloe Addison, said that she was only a few paces behind Lucy – who had run across the road to play in the fields opposite her house – when the beloved pet went missing.
Chloe had taken her eyes off the little dog for just a moment and, when she looked back, Lucy had completely disappeared.
She said: "It's a residential area but there's been no sightings or dog poo or anything. If she was out there we would have found her – we've even had drones out, twice.
"I've put posters up and put it all over Facebook, I've spoken to vets, kennels and dog groomers.
She added: "Someone knows something, they're just not saying. If she was on the street we'd find her."
The donor, who asked to be named, said that Lucy's story "pulled on their heartstrings" .
They said: "Dog theft is terrible and sadly rife at the moment, I feel so much anguish for every dog taken away from its family – you just don’t want to imagine what the poor animals are going through.
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