Buckinghamshire family left devastated after their beloved dog is stolen
Lydia, from Lacey Green, was left devastated by the disappearance of her beloved cocker spaniel, Lola.
Dog theft is becoming an increasing issue around Buckinghamshire, with pedigree pooches commanding prices in the thousands of pounds.
UK Wide dog theft is also becoming a huge issue, so much so that dog theft was featured on Jeremy Vine's BBC show just last week.
This is as well as petitions being signed, leading to the issue reaching the Houses of Parliament.
Lydia's Cocker Spaniel Lola was stolen on March 23 from her garden in Lacey Green near Princes Risborough.
The Bucks Herald spoke Lydia, who said: "Having a loyal and loving pet stolen is totally devastating.
"My puppy Lola was stolen from our home on the 23 March at 12.30 and since then I have not stopped worrying about what she is going through for a single second.
"I have had Lola since she was a puppy, and we are inseparable - she is my shadow and LOVE her so much.
"I don’t think you need to be an animal lover to understand but she trusted me totally and she has such an amazing nature, she isn’t equipped for any cruelty.
The emotional upheaval this has had on Lydia and those around her has been awful.
One of her friends Petra posted a message on Facebook about Lydia's distress with the situation and Lola’s poster, asking for friends to share the poster.
One week on the poster has now been shared in excess of 50,000 times.
They have set up a facebook page that you can view by clicking here.Petra said: "We have driven all over the county putting up posters, talking to local retailers and traders and sought assistance from some large corporates in the hope we can generate a lead to try and find Lydia’s beloved dog.
"Lydia and her family are really going through an immense amount of stress, scrambling for possible sightings and dealing with phone calls relating to Lola’s disappearance.
"Animals are so important to people during lockdown and their mental health. You cannot underestimate the toll this can take on a person.
"It's a huge emotional drain on anyone."
Dog theft has increased by 250% during lockdown, driven by the huge number of dog sales during the pandemic.
People are buying dogs from social media platforms, sales websites, meeting in motorway service stations to collect their dog and just not asking necessary questions.
"Lola is microchipped and registered but so many people are buying dogs without carrying out any checks.
"This means she could be sold on easily.
"It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we act responsibly and do not give cruel traffickers and puppy farm breeders an outlet for stolen dogs.
"Please think twice about where your dog has come from."
Here's some advice that everyone purchasing a dog should think about before they make the leap:
- The puppy must be microchipped by law and the new owner is legally required to keep the details up to date - this means registering for a change of ownership formally through microchip companies
-It's best to see the puppy with her mother at home. ‘Lucy’s Law’ means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.
- Once you have bought a puppy, you must take it to the vet to have its microchip checked to ensure it matches the details that you have been given by the breeder, and that it is not stolen
Lydia has asked residents of Lacey Green for their help.
"Anybody in the Lacey Green, Naphill, Walters Ash area on Tuesday 23 March between 12.15 to 1.45 who has dash cams, saw anything suspicious please get in contact. We have had several reports and if we can collect more evidence the police may be able to investigate further.
"Please keep sharing her poster as the more people are aware the more, I hope someone will decide to make contact with me and I will get her home.
"Someone will know where she is and I simply want to ask that person to make contact, confidentially, so I can get her home.
"I want Lola home, but I want this crime to be stopped by us all working together to shut down the market for stolen dogs and puppies of stolen dogs.
"If you are buying a puppy think about the conditions, which are often horrendous, hat the mother may be being held in and are you happy that you have carried out the basic checks to make sure you are not buying a dog that has been stolen or bred from a stolen dog."