Ransom dogs kidnapped from Wigan farm are found

Two dogs stolen from a Wigan farm and held to ransom have been found safe and well by police after being missing for a week.

By Holly Pritchard
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 11:23 am

The two Jack Russell and Yorkshire terrior cross-breeds, Scrappy and Mopsy, were snatched on the afternoon of Wednesday April 13 before owner Katie Shakeshaft returned home to her farm in the Garswood area.

She had left them safely locked up in their bed with food and water in the big horse-box only to discover it had been smashed open and the pooches nowhere to be found.

After reporting it to the police, a short while after, Ms Shakesahft began receiving anonymous phone calls demanding £1,000, telling her she will never see her pets again and threatening to slit the dogs’ throats.

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Scrappy and Mopsy

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Ms Shakeshaft never gave up hope on finding them during the traumatic ordeal and on the afternoon of Thursday April 21 she finally recieved a call from police to say that they had been safe and well after being rescued from unknown premises in the farnworth area of Bolton after receiving a tip-off from a member of the public.

Ms Shakeshaft said: “I’m just so glad they’re home.

"I got the phone call around half two to come down to the station in Bolton so I went straight there.

Nicola Shakeshaft (left) and Katie Shakeshaft (right) with dogs, Scrappy and Mopsy.

"Scrappy and Mopsy were both really tired and drained from the traumatic experience.

“They’ve been a little bit weary and every little noise makes them a bit jumpy, but they seem to be getting back to their usual selves again.

"Mopsy is acting like a meerkat and standing up on her back legs and Scrappy is back to her old ways and giving lots of kisses.”

"I think it’s all been a little overwhelming for them both and I’m still a bit on edge and so I’m keeping them both safely away if I need to pop out or take the horses out.

Katie Shakeshaft is reunited with her dogs after they were kidnapped and held to ransom.

“The police have done a great job in finding them, they’ve been really supportive and the local community have been amazing, they really pulled together to help look out for them.

"I am over the moon and totally overwhelmed by the response of the police, both GMP and Merseyside - I was so happy when I received the call saying the dogs were safe.

"I never thought I would see them again - I was so scared and can't thank the police and the public enough."

“Ann from Justice for Reggie also helped me a lot and I really can’t thank her enough.

Katie Shakeshaft pictured (centre), with her sister, Nicola (left), and neice, Frankie, Nephew, louie and her dogs, Scrappy and Mopsy.

"My dogs are my family.

Sgt Faye Lowe, from GMP's Bolton district, said: "We received information about where the dogs were being kept - officers attended the location and found the dogs healthy but a little scared.

"We are really happy to have been able to reunite the dogs with their owner."

No arrests have been made and anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police quoting log 349 of April 16 2022.

Alternatively ring the freephone Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555111.