Delight as stolen dog is found
A FAMILY is urging dog owners to be vigilant after their beloved pet was stolen – and eventually found dumped almost 100 miles away.
Three-year-old French bulldog Coco was stolen from delivery driver Nathan Edwards' van when he stopped briefly at the Channons Hill retail park in Fishponds on the morning of May 27.
The theft left Nathan, partner Hayley Jennings and their four-year-old daughter Ashayah distraught.
The Kingswood family launched a desperate campaign for information, spreading the word on social media as well as putting leaflets on cars and lamp posts and asking people on the streets if they had seen her.
After 18 days Nathan received a call from workers at a waste recycling centre in Coventry who had seen Coco wandering outside the site and recognised her from one of the family's Facebook posts, which were shared thousands of times across the country.
Hayley said the "power of sharing" had worked in reuniting them with Coco, who appeared to be largely unharmed but had been shaved by her captors to check whether she had been spayed, as neutered pets cannot be used for breeding.
She said: "I would love to know where Coco had been for the 18 days she was missing.
"Who had her? How did they treat her? Did she escape or was she dumped?"
Hayley said two men had been seen trying to sell Coco in a Coventry pub in the week before she was found.
She urged anyone who had information to come forward, as those responsible could still have other people's stolen pets.
Hayley said: "People need to remain vigilant, as dog stealing is at an all-time high, with little or no consequences.
"Many of these people stealing dogs see our pets as a quick way to make money. Illegal breeding hasn’t helped.
"If you do purchase a dog please make sure you see paperwork meet the mum. You could potentially end up buying a puppy from someone’s stolen dog.
"We have coco home but those responsible for stealing her are still out there, no doubt stealing other dogs.
"We want justice for Coco – someone does know something."
Anyone with information about the theft of Coco should call Avon and Somerset police on 101 and quote crime reference number 5221 116 719. Information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.