A French Bulldog who was stolen while pregnant from her Devon home 225 miles away has been found in Greater Manchester.
Two-year-old French Bulldog Maggie was sadly taken from an address in Bradninch in Devon on Thursday 13 May, while she was heavily pregnant – but following information from the public, Greater Manchester Police managed to discover that the dog was being kept at an address in Partington.
Maggie was found by officers from the Trafford West Neighbourhood Policing Team at the Partington address on Saturday.
She was in mid-labour when she was found by officers.
All of the dogs were safely recovered and taken into veterinary care, with Greater Manchester Police confirming that they are all doing well and will be reunited with their owners very shortly.
Four people have been arrested and released pending further inquiries.
A 28 year old woman has been arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, and a 33 year old man has also been arrested on suspicion of theft, but both have been released under investigation.
Inspector Jon Ezard from GMP’s Trafford West Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This is a fantastic result with a happy ending for Maggie.”
He added: “Maggie and her pups will be reunited with their owner shortly, and I’d like to thank our partners at Devon and Cornwall police for their assistance, as well as the public for working with us to track them down.”
Inspector Ezard also admitted that “French Bulldogs are an extremely popular breed”, which comes after they were recently revealed as the most popular dog bought during lockdown.
“The price of buying a dog has increased, but dog theft isn’t about money for victims, they are losing a member of the family [so] hopefully this will send a strong message that GMP will not tolerate this kind of criminality, and anyone who commits this kind of crime, will be brought to justice.”
Greater Manchester Police said it encourages anyone with any information – whether that is seeing some suspicious activity relating to dogs, or attempted thefts – to report it by calling 101.
“The information passed to us is looked into and taken seriously.” Inspector Ezard added.
The force also reiterated some helpful advice provided by leading UK charity Dogs Trust on how to keep your pet safe:
Many dogs are taken from homes and gardens every year, so making sure both are secure is a priority for dog owners and ideally, a dog shouldn’t be left on their own in the garden.
Never leave your dog unattended when you’re out and about and always keep them in sight.
Make sure they are trained to come back to you, however distracted they might be.
Ensure your dog is microchipped as having your dog microchipped, and keeping your contact details up to date, gives you the best chance of having your dog returned to you if the worst happens.
Walk in well-lit areas, vary your routes, and be aware of your surroundings.
You can also find more information about protecting your dog from theft via the Greater Manchester Police website here.
Featured Image – GMP / Devon & Cornwall Police