A BLACKBURN mum is warning dog owners to beware of valuable pets being snatched.
Kerry Ainsworth said her family had been left heartbroken after the theft of their British bulldog, Buzz, from near her Shadsworth home.
The mum-of-four said neighbours had witnessed the terrified animal being bundled into a white van on Shadsworth Road on Wednesday night.
She is appealing for any information which may help with Buzz’s return. The 39-year-old believes the valuable pet may have been stolen to order.
Experts said the family was right to raise publicity of a ‘recent phenomenon’ for stealing pedigree dogs of all kinds.
Hairdresser Kerry and her husband David, a self-employed groundsworker, are hoping to warn others and help find Buzz.
Kerry said the theft at 10pm on Wednesday had left her children Ria, 18, Elle, 17, Sonny, seven, and Junior, six, devastated.
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She said: “Since Buzz went missing we have just been frantic with worry. People saw him being taken because everyone knows Buzz and they said they could tell that he was really scared.
“My neighbour saw this happen near Shadsworth chippy and she tried to stop it, but they drove off.
“Everyone loves Buzz around here and he always joins in when the kids play football. We have also heard on Facebook that other valuable dogs have gone missing in the same part of Shadsworth.
“My children are heartbroken that Buzz has been taken. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
The Bulldog Breed Council said they had also had reports from concerned members.
Chairman Arthur Rowe said: “It’s a fairly common and recent phenomenon that pedigree dogs of all kinds are being stolen; even less expensive breeds.
“One of our members had two bulldogs taken from her garden just weeks ago. The right thing to do is raise publicity of the problem and make it too hot for the thieves to operate.”
Police confirmed they had received reports of the Shadsworth Road theft and they were investigating.