A STOLEN dog was reunited with its owner — months after being burgled from a house in Darfield.
Patterdale terrier Peggy was taken from College Terrace on November 10.
A few months later, the Barnsley South Neighbourhood Team were carrying out enquiries with West Yorkshire Police when a keen-eyed officer spotted the missing pet.
Sgt Rebecca Fleming said: “Our officer spotted Peggy, recognising her from photos provided by the family, and with a little encouragement managed to get her into the back of the police car; it’s a daunting ride for anyone!
“The officer took Peggy back to Darfield, where her owner was able to identify her straight away. A little shaken from the ordeal Peggy eventually relaxed and realised she was back home where she was loved. We all love a happy ending!”
Michael William Connors (22), of Wakefield Road, West Yorkshire, has been charged with burglary in connection to Peggy’s disappearance.
Dog thefts have increased across the UK during the pandemic and can often be linked to organised crime groups as a way of making money, with demand for the animals at a high.
Police have urged extra caution and offered the following advice:
- Never leave your pet tied-up unattended, such as outside shops
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag when in a public place, as you are now required to do by law. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full postcode and, if possible, mention the microchip if your dog has one.
- Ensure your dog can be permanently identified by its microchip and check with your vet every year that details are up to date. Keep all documentation relating to dogs in a safe place. Include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog, making a note of any unusual markings.
- Use a registered boarding kennel or professional dog carer with documentation to this effect unless you know someone who is trustworthy that will care for your dog in your absence.
- Train your dog not to go out of your sight on walks, use an extending lead if the dog does not comply. Vary your walk times and routes.
- Beware of strangers who show interest in your dog: don’t give details about your dog, don’t allow strangers to have their photograph taken with your dog.
- Ensure your garden or yard is secure. Check it regularly for wear and tear or gaps. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out. Keep your dog in view when it goes out into the garden, don’t leave it unattended.
If you believe your dog has been stolen, call police on 101 and contact vets, rescue centres and the council’s dog warden service.
If your dog is microchipped, report it to the microchip company and register it as lost or stolen. This will give you a better chance of being reunited with it if it is found.