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Dog thefts in Ottawa area

January 28th, 2008, 07:30 PM
People disgust me!!!

Quebec SPCA fears trend in dog thefts
Red golden retriever, pug taken from families
Tim Shufelt, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Sunday, January 27, 2008

When Cherisse Hansen popped out to run a quick errand on Tuesday morning, a man in a black pickup truck with tinted windows and stolen plates was watching, waiting for her to leave her Gloucester house, she now believes.

Once she was gone, the heavy-set man "swooped in like a vulture," used wire cutters on the Hansens' backyard fence, and made off with their beloved, and rare, red golden retriever, Tuuka.

It all happened in less than a minute.

The Hansens' neighbour saw the whole thing, and wrote down the licence plate as the man drove away with two-year-old Tuuka in the cab. Police later discovered the plates were bogus.

Another neighbour said a man in a truck fitting the same description, black with a red stripe down the side, was checking out the Hansens' house a few days before Tuuka was taken.

"This was so well-organized. We don't think it's just some average Joe come in to steal a dog. It was definitely for a purpose," Mrs. Hansen said.

Mrs. Hansen and her husband, Dean, fear Tuuka's rare pedigree may have made him the target of shady dog breeders. They even received an anonymous phone call Friday night indicating that the owners of a puppy mill in Quebec are actively searching for red golden retrievers like Tuuka.

On the same day Tuuka went missing, another golden retriever, also two years old and also unneutered, was reported stolen in Perth, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

Following the advice of police, the Hansens put out flyers, trying everything to get their pet back.

"We've had lots of phone calls from people saying, 'my dog was taken right from my yard, two months ago, two weeks ago.' And a lot of them were in the Ottawa South area," Mr. Hansen said.

Lorna Sale told the Hansens she believes her two-year-old purebred pug, Caya, was taken last month while she was with a dogsitter in Metcalfe.

"She's not spayed. I'm concerned she's in a puppy mill," Ms. Sale said. "Why are all these dogs disappearing?"

A police spokesman said there is no indication the dog thefts are occurring more frequently than usual, but Jennifer Montague, with the Western Quebec SPCA, disagrees.

"Dogs are stolen all the time. Unspayed females and unneutered males, they're a prime target if they're a purebred dog."

The trend is largely fuelled by the unscrupulous segment of Quebec's dog breeding industry, which generates $600 million a year in the province, Ms. Montague said. "There's huge money, especially in the province of Quebec where we have absolutely no laws protecting (animals)."

Golden retrievers, for example, can have 20 to 25 puppies a year, each of which sells for $600 to $1,500, depending on the reputation of the breeder.

Dog breeders do not even need a licence to operate in Quebec, which has become a haven for so-called puppy mills, say critics of the province's lax animal welfare laws.

And it's not unheard of for "puppy brokers" to target pets for these facilities, Ms. Montague added. "I have firsthand knowledge of this."

January 28th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Hi Tmac ! :sad:

January 29th, 2008, 10:31 AM
The Dog has been located and is bein reunited with its owners. Who are extremely happy to know that there are good people out there.

January 29th, 2008, 10:39 AM
What wonderful news!!!!!! :grouphug:

:thumbs up

January 29th, 2008, 11:28 AM
That is good news, any details on the return.

January 29th, 2008, 11:47 AM
No News Yet. He Will be reunited in the next 1/2 hour. I just spoke to the owner on the phone.

February 2nd, 2008, 11:09 AM
That is great news, Frenchy! Thanks for posting it. I only get to sign on to occasionally now (when I have 2 seconds) so I'm a little behind in the news, ha ha:laughing: