A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl from Wigan has been left heartbroken after her beloved pet labrador was stolen from her family home.
Emily Jane Scott and her mum Shelley say they are desperately concerned for the safety of their two-year-old dog Lucy after she was taken 11 days ago.
The family discovered the gate to their back garden, which is usually locked, had been smashed before they spotted track marks revealing the dog had been walked off shortly after 8am on Monday, December 6.
The incident has been reported to police but officers say CCTV footage of the street is not clear enough to identify the culprit.
Shelley, of Butler Street, Scholes, said: “My daughter is really upset, especially with it being so close to Christmas. Whoever has done this must know our routine and that we let Lucy out in the garden in the morning.
“The police say they have looked at CCTV footage but they haven’t been able to pick anything up because the footage is not clear. There’s not much more they can do until more evidence comes to light.
“I’d taken my daughter to school and was travelling to work when Lucy went missing. My sister Lisa had let the dog out in the back garden just after 8am.
“My next-door neighbour usually gives Lucy a treat at 8.30am but at that point she’d already gone.
“I thought she may have fallen asleep in the shed but I got a horrible feeling when I realised she was missing.
“When I arrived home from work, I could see the gate lock to the garden had been bashed in. There were track marks in a clear straight line which suggest Lucy had been walked off using a lead.
“My sister’s fuming about this, she think it’s absolutely disgusting that someone could take a family pet like this.”
Shelley, 25, says her daughter Emily Jane has written letters during her after school club pleading for the dog’s safe return.
They suspect Lucy may only have been taken a short distance from their home and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
She added: “Kids can’t express themselves in the same way as adults but I was horrified to see how upset my daughter was.
“It’s affected the whole family. My sister’s pet cocker spaniel Bobby has been crying ever since Lucy disappeared. They were really close and would play together and even went to dog training together.
“Lucy’s a really quiet, friendly dog. She’d jump up on anyone. She has never run off before and is able to walk off her lead.”
Dog recovery organisations have issued some safety tips to help pet owners avoid becoming victims of dog theft. They included:
Have your pet microchipped
All dogs should wear a collar and tag by law. Avoid including the dog’s name. Include your telephone number/address - use a tracking company’s details if you don’t want to include your own.
Have clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog.
Train your dog not to go out of your sight on walks. Use an extending lead if the dog does not comply.