A woman whose beloved dog had been snatched from her backyard by dognappers told how her dog was found tied in a bag and buried in undergrowth ten minutes from their home.
Nicola Pinner, 51, from Boston, Lincolnshire, said her two-year-old Maltese Mabel was left ‘terrified’ and whimpering after being dumped in an old umbrella bag and hidden under dirt and branches along a remote country lane.
The family pet was stolen from Nicola’s backyard on April 27 and was found three days later when a woman recognized Mabel on social media – but said the dog was so dirty she couldn’t tell what color her fur was.
Nicola appeared on This Morning today and said she suspected her family’s social media campaign to find the dog scared the criminals who stole Mabel and prompted them to dump her.
Two-year-old Maltese Mabel was snatched from her owner’s backyard in Boston, Lincolnshire late last month
She was left “terrified” and whining after being dumped in an old umbrella bag and hidden under dirt and branches along a remote country road.
“We got a call from a lady on Friday morning and she said ‘I think I have your dog,'” Nicola said.
She couldn’t even tell if she was white because she was so dirty and awful. She had been put in a bag under sticks, buried in undergrowth, she was not meant to be found. ‘
Cases of what is known as ‘dognapping’ are on the rise, with recent figures from lost and found organization DogLost showing that thefts were up 250 per cent in the UK last year.
Nicola described Mabel as’very cheeky, very loving ‘and insisted that the pet means’ the world’ to her family.
She appeared on This Morning today and predicted that her family’s social media campaign to find the dog scared the criminals who took Mabel.
“When we got her, we just fell in love with her,” said Nicola, “she’s just part of the family. Everything we do, she does. ‘
Nicola and husband Russell, 55, had been with a friend when dognappers broke into their backyard and swept away their beloved dog.
‘I thought “She probably came from the garden,” said Nicola. ‘I ran in, looked all over and out and thought,’ This is weird. ‘
“She might go to a neighbor, but Mable is rare and about half an hour later we realized, she might have been stolen. It was awful, I can’t tell you. ‘
The family was left in tears when they were reunited with their pet three days after she went missing, but Mabel was left shocked.
“The first day she was clearly very tired, she was very dehydrated and slept all the time,” said Nicola. ‘She was very shocked, she didn’t want to do anything or go with anyone. All she went to was us or our family, she wouldn’t run to the door. ‘
Nicola told the hosts that Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield had been with a friend when dognappers broke into their backyard and swept away their beloved dog
She said the family was left in tears when they were reunited with their pet three days after she went missing, but the animal was shaken.
The family has no idea why their dog was buried in the bushes, but believe their multiple social media posts looking for the dog may have scared criminals into dumping the animal.
“All we can think of is they were going to go back or they got scared, or they left her to die.
“We really don’t know, because on social media it could have been a reason they could get scared and think” We’re just dumping her. ” We do not know. ‘
Nicola pushes for stricter laws on those who steal dogs, comparing the loss of a dog to a child being stolen.
“I’ve gotten a lot of messages from people saying that if it was their dog, they just had to live,” said Nicola. “This is their family, it’s like a child to them, so this should be taken very seriously.”