Lurcher Abby was snatched by raiders who broke into the kennels at Blaxton undercover of darkness – and the family have pleaded for the safe return of their pet, which they fear has been stolen for fighting or coursing.
The cream-coloured, rough-coated dog was taken in the early hours of this morning from Bryce Boarding Kennels – just hours after being left by owners Janice and Howard Simmonds who were heading for a long weekend break in Warwickshire.
The couple’s daughter Joanne said: “We’re all absolutely devastated.
“She’s a lovely dog, there’s not a bad bone in her body, she’s quiet and not aggressive at all so to think she may have been stolen for fighting or coursing is horrific.
“Mum and dad are absolutely heartbroken.”
Abby, has been with the couple for four years and arrived from Finningley-based animal shelter Tia Rescue, where Janice is a trustee.
Added Joanne: “She came to the family for foster care but ended up staying.
“She had a horrific start in life and has had a severely broken right front leg in the past and is very timid. She’s not fit for racing or chasing of any kind.”
She added that her parents, who had gone away for a weekend in Stratford-on-Avon, were cancelling their break to return to their home in Doncaster to help in the search for Abby.
Said Joanne: “She will be scared witless and will be whimpering. She will be so frightened. It’s absolutely awful.”
Kennel owner Alison Jackson said she believed the theft was a targeted attack for a specific breed during the coursing season.
She said: “No other dogs were disturbed or taken at all so we think the thieves knew exactly what they were looking for.
“They broke through our fences into the kennel block and specifically targeted Abby.”
“We didn’t hear anything but we came down this morning and found Abby was gone. We’re absolutely devastated.”
She added that the Simmonds have been long-time users of the kennels, which have been established for more than 50 years and are based in three acres of land of Thorne Road in Blaxton.
“They obviously knew what they were looking for,” she added. “We want Abby back and the most important thing is that she is found safe and well.”
Abby has distinctive scarring on the inside of her leg and has also been spayed.
A post on the Tia Rescue website said: “If she’s returned there will be no questions asked and no repercussions. We just want her back safe.”
If you have her or know of her whereabouts contact Deb at Tia Rescue on 07974 960684 or 01302 772935.
Her chip number is 9660000100379065. The police log number is 14/154025/19.