Stolen dog reunited with owner

Alert message sent 22/04/2021 17:10:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

A Chihuahua has been reunited with her rightful owner in Swindon after being stolen two years ago. 

During a break-in at a private address in Gorse Hill in October 2019, the female dog was taken, along with some household items, by unknown burglars. 

Despite our enquiries at the time, officers were unable to locate the pet. 

However, in April this year the original owner received a letter from a company called Petlog telling her that someone was trying to change ownership of her dog. 

Officers then reopened the case and made enquiries which led us to the dog at an address in Buckingham; she was being cared for by a woman whose daughter had bought the animal from a pet shop in London in December 2019. 

The Chihuahua was found fit and well but pregnant.  

Negotiations between the legal owner in Swindon, our officers and the current owner in Buckingham took place to find a solution to the situation.  Especially as the woman in Buckinghamshire had bought the dog on good faith, not knowing it had been stolen. 

Following enquiries with a local Buckingham vet (the one the Buckinghamshire family were using to care for the dog)  it was deemed safe for the pregnant dog to be transported back to Swindon to be reunited with its legal owner; this happened today (22/04). 

Inspector Gill Hughes said:  "This was a case where a person bought a dog from a pet shop believing it to be legal only to find out later that the animal was indeed stolen property. 
"I would urge anyone buying a dog or puppy to do their research beforehand and to go through the check list of do's and don'ts in buying one.  Even if you are purchasing from a shop. 

"Thankfully, the dog - along with puppies - has been reunited with its rightful owner now; this also has a message in the tale - as the dog was microchipped and registered with Petlog, when someone went to try and change the ownership it was flagged to the original owner. 

"Without that, I doubt we would have ever found the animal.  It pays to microchip your pets." 

To avoid buying a stolen or farmed puppy always make sure you see mum and her pups together, and never buy a puppy if you have doubts about the breeder or situation - buying the puppy will only fund their illegal operation.

You can find more tips about buying a dog on the RSPCA website. 
Message sent by
Mark Jones (Police, Media Officer, Wiltshire)

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