Dognappers demand a £500 ransom

Daily Echo: Buttons the cockerspaniel Buttons the cockerspaniel

A FAMILY dog was held for a £500 ransom after being snatched outside its Hampshire home, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Now police have launched a hunt for the dognappers after Buttons the cocker spaniel was found tied up and for sale 50 miles away.

It comes after the Daily Echo revealed how dog thieves are increasingly stealing fancy breeds across Hampshire for breeding or even fighting.

Now, following the latest theft one family, who live near Romsey , have spoken of their relief after they were convinced they may never see their twoyear- old chocolate brown dog again.

“It has been devastating, she is very much a loved dog,” said her owner, who the Daily Echo is not naming.

“It is just shocking that it can actually happen.

“This is the sort of thing that happens to someone else.”

The “friendly” pet vanished last Friday afternoon near the entrance to the family’s garden.

She said: “I have no idea what happened. One minute she was there and the next she was gone.

“I knew she had been taken because she is just not the sort of dog that wanders off – it would be out of character.”

But hours after pinning up missing dog posters she was called by a mystery caller demanding £500 for Buttons’ return.

She said: “They must have been waiting for a poster to go up so they could call the number.”

Her husband decided to turn detective and arrange a meeting, although just to observe who turned up.

He then saw the dog which he recognised as Buttons with two women but instead of challenging them he passed their registration plate to the police.

Officers tracked the vehicle to an address in Aldermaston, Berkshire, which they raided but the dog was not there.

The family’s nightmare only ended after a member of the public called a dog warden after challenging a man who was selling the dog which was tied up, also near Aldermaston.

Reunited with an exhausted and hungry but otherwise unharmed Buttons, the family have vowed to be extra vigilant.

Today dog rescue groups have renewed their warning to owners.

DogLost founder Jayne Hayes said she has seen a 200 per cent increase in dog thefts in the last year.

She said: “Dognapping is rife at the moment in the south. We would say to owners to be vigilant because your dog may not be safe – even in your own garden.”

Last night Hampshire police confirmed they were investigating but have not arrested anyone.

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Comments (10)

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11:35am Fri 21 Sep 12

ToastyTea says...

Hope they catch the scum who did this, stealing peoples pets I mean wtf.
Hope they catch the scum who did this, stealing peoples pets I mean wtf. ToastyTea

11:36am Fri 21 Sep 12

Cerdicjute says...

If someone could kidnap the yappy mutt next door that would be grand....
If someone could kidnap the yappy mutt next door that would be grand.... Cerdicjute

1:20pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Goldenwight says...

For a few pounds pets can be microchipped. Whilst this cannot stop them being stolen, it does make it much more difficult for thieves to sell them on.

It also vastly simplifies the work of those dealing with stray animals in returning them to their owners.
For a few pounds pets can be microchipped. Whilst this cannot stop them being stolen, it does make it much more difficult for thieves to sell them on. It also vastly simplifies the work of those dealing with stray animals in returning them to their owners. Goldenwight

1:21pm Fri 21 Sep 12

SouthamptonLegend says...

Cerdicjute wrote:
If someone could kidnap the yappy mutt next door that would be grand....
Double the price? Is it special?
[quote][p][bold]Cerdicjute[/bold] wrote: If someone could kidnap the yappy mutt next door that would be grand....[/p][/quote]Double the price? Is it special? SouthamptonLegend

2:27pm Fri 21 Sep 12

The Wickham Man says...

Part of the problem is our hopeless plodding authorities who manage to blunder and fail into never charging those responsible. It is not hard to guess that the officials or police going to where the kidnappers did would have done so in full uniform and in a marked car. They might as well have had blues and twos going. While it is good to read of a happy ending it is inevitable that the people who did this will do it again, and with petty officials who always seem to manage to tip off kidnappers rather than apprehend them there are going to be some more upset people. The owner did everything he could to try and apprehend the kidnappers but could have ended up losing his money and his dog.
Part of the problem is our hopeless plodding authorities who manage to blunder and fail into never charging those responsible. It is not hard to guess that the officials or police going to where the kidnappers did would have done so in full uniform and in a marked car. They might as well have had blues and twos going. While it is good to read of a happy ending it is inevitable that the people who did this will do it again, and with petty officials who always seem to manage to tip off kidnappers rather than apprehend them there are going to be some more upset people. The owner did everything he could to try and apprehend the kidnappers but could have ended up losing his money and his dog. The Wickham Man

3:22pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Linesman says...

Doggone!
Doggone! Linesman

9:13pm Fri 21 Sep 12

KA says...

I_m_a_Lumberjack wrote:
Unfortunately, comments aren't allowed on the story of the paedophile rapist, Darren Mackrell. He should be hanged. Put him out of his misery and spare the taxpayer a lot of money. Scum.
Agree.! When there is no doubt.. kill them .. evil scum.
[quote][p][bold]I_m_a_Lumberjack[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately, comments aren't allowed on the story of the paedophile rapist, Darren Mackrell. He should be hanged. Put him out of his misery and spare the taxpayer a lot of money. Scum.[/p][/quote]Agree.! When there is no doubt.. kill them .. evil scum. KA

9:28pm Fri 21 Sep 12

G-man1 says...

Buttons looks like Geri Halliwell in my opinion
Buttons looks like Geri Halliwell in my opinion G-man1

3:18pm Sat 22 Sep 12

Poppy22 says...

Good that the dog was returned to its home, poor thing.
No criticism of the people in this story but, as a general question, why do people now always have to have a "breed" dog, rather than the cross-breed family dogs everyone used to have? Do cross-breeds no longer exist?
Pets seem to be more of a status symbol these days. Also, why pay hundreds of pounds for a dog when you can save one from a rescue centre?
Good that the dog was returned to its home, poor thing. No criticism of the people in this story but, as a general question, why do people now always have to have a "breed" dog, rather than the cross-breed family dogs everyone used to have? Do cross-breeds no longer exist? Pets seem to be more of a status symbol these days. Also, why pay hundreds of pounds for a dog when you can save one from a rescue centre? Poppy22

12:18pm Sun 23 Sep 12

cantthinkofone says...

Poppy22 wrote:
Good that the dog was returned to its home, poor thing.
No criticism of the people in this story but, as a general question, why do people now always have to have a "breed" dog, rather than the cross-breed family dogs everyone used to have? Do cross-breeds no longer exist?
Pets seem to be more of a status symbol these days. Also, why pay hundreds of pounds for a dog when you can save one from a rescue centre?
Absolutely. Mongrels tend to be healthier as well, and be more stable personality-wise (making them better pets) due to a more diverse gene-pool.
[quote][p][bold]Poppy22[/bold] wrote: Good that the dog was returned to its home, poor thing. No criticism of the people in this story but, as a general question, why do people now always have to have a "breed" dog, rather than the cross-breed family dogs everyone used to have? Do cross-breeds no longer exist? Pets seem to be more of a status symbol these days. Also, why pay hundreds of pounds for a dog when you can save one from a rescue centre?[/p][/quote]Absolutely. Mongrels tend to be healthier as well, and be more stable personality-wise (making them better pets) due to a more diverse gene-pool. cantthinkofone

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