DISTRAUGHT dog owners are appealing for information on their stolen pets.
Dog thefts are increasing in Derbyshire with reports of pets being snatched from back yards.
Sarah Dodson’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier Roxy was stolen from Newbold, in February.
Sarah, 29, said: “I’ve heard a lot of staffys are being stolen and there are rumours going around that they are being taken for dog fights.”
Twenty-one-month-old Roxy was taken from the family’s back yard in Mount Castle.
Sarah added: “It’s been heart-breaking as we all love that dog.
“My two-year-old daughter is distraught and asks where she is every day.
“It’s absolutely terrible to think what she might have been taken for.”
Dog Lost co-ordinator Sue Carvell said between 20 to 30 dogs a day from all over the UK are registered with the national database as missing and a proportion of these will have been stolen.
She added: “Dog theft in general is a growing problem and Derbyshire has its fair share of stolen or suspected stolen dogs.
“Working breeds such as Terriers, Lurchers and Spaniels are always popular targets but we also see an increase in the theft of small breeds as these are popular and can usually be sold on very quickly.”
Sadie Hutchison’s Chihuahua, Pebbles was stolen from her back yard at The Croft in South Normanton last month.
Sadie, 22, has since been contacted by a mystery caller who said they have Pebbles but the police have been unable to trace them.
She added: “We really, really miss her and being nearly six month pregnant its really taking its toll on me.
“I have heard of two other dogs going missing in South Normanton.
“I must have put up over 1,000 posters appealing for information.”
Sadie is offering a £500 reward for information leading to the safe return of two-year-old Pebbles.
During last year Derbyshire police had 27 reports of stolen dogs with five being found.
Margaret Nawrockyi, secretary of charity Dog Theft Action said: “A microchip is essential if a dog is to stand any chance of returning home. We also need a commitment that all found dogs will be scanned whether alive or dead and owners notified.”
She added: “The more people are made aware of the devastating consequences of dog theft the more they can take appropriate and adequate precautions to avoid becoming a victim.”
If anyone has had their dog stolen they can register them with www.doglost.co.uk which is a free service run by volunteers.
To find out more about Dog Theft Action go to www.dogtheftaction.com