Barking mad: A first for sanctuary staff

Hannah Briggs from the Thornberry animal sanctuary in Dinnington with Max the dog who has been returned the the sanctuary after he was stolen last week

Hannah Briggs from the Thornberry animal sanctuary in Dinnington with Max the dog who has been returned the the sanctuary after he was stolen last week

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Thornberry Animal Sanctuary gets dogs dumped on its doorstep all the time.

And finding new homes for the prettiest of its waifs and strays is a much easier task than it is to re-home the ugly ones.

The sad thing is, folk are fickle. Most only want a good-looking pet.

And because Thornberry has always pledged never to put down a healthy animal, every year it has to raise a small fortune to keep hundreds of dog-eared, mangy, bozz-eyed, seemingly unlovable critters alive and well.

But last weekend, something happened that in all their years of rescuing pets, sanctuary workers could never have imagined.

Someone wanted one particularly cute pooch so much, they broke in and stole him.

Why, you ask. Why couldn’t this desperate-to-be owner do it the proper way; tour the kennels and fill in a form?

Because they were too late; scrappy, scruffy little Max, pretty much a wire-haired terrier, was no longer going a-begging. He had just been found a home and his adoptive family were about to collect him.

The thief must have had a heart of stone. There are dozens of mutts at Thornberry, desperately waiting for someone to take pity on them. He or she would have had to ignore a fair few sets of pleading brown eyes on Operation Max.

But now Max is back. After a story in The Star warned the thief that police had several leads and were on his/her tail – sorry, trail – Max was found wandering. The person who wanted him so much they went to such extraordinary lengths had simply dumped him like a hot handbag they’d picked up as a knock-off down the pub.

Some dog-lover, eh?

Max is better off without an owner like that.

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