Dog thefts?

Hi all I’ve just seen a worrying post on Facebook about dogs being stolen in the Charente region. Apparently they are stolen and then used as bait for dog fights. It sounds completely hideous.

Does anyone know if the story is true?

The "free to a good home" ads always disturb me as they're easy targets for these appalling people and I do wish people would learn. Unfortunately too many just wish their "burdens" to be taken off their hands and they don't care about their fate.

This spate of incidents is physically removing pets from their homes or, in some cases, from pathways when dogs are off leash and running ahead or behind their owners. I did read somewhere (although I don't know if it's true) that some houses were marked in chalk before their pets were taken.

It is just one very sad and unfortunate result of both cats and dogs being offered 'free of charge' to good homes.

No, totally my fault for including it within the general thread, hence it's disappearance after other items are added. If I had a brain I would have posted it as a separate discussion as you did.

It's an extremely important issue, an 'epidemic' that seems to be spreading with such horrific consequences, and I'm really pleased you highlighted it.

Thanks Valerie, I hadn’t seen your post, sorry!

Hi Jane, it's one of those things that you never know what's true and what isn't but there does seem to have been a recent spate both in France and the UK. I posted a warning back in December which got swallowed up but I've cheated and am copying it:

"CHARENTE - Dog snatching alert

I've been following several posts on Facebook today and it appears that up to 11 dogs so far have been taken both from private gardens and along walking paths. Because they are being taken irrespective of age, sex or breed it is feared that it may be for dog-baiting purposes. These are family pets.

Please do be vigilant as I doubt it will remain confined to the Charente area. If any vans, particularly with side doors as opposed to the white chasse vans, appear to slow down near your property or while you're walking your dogs, take care. Get the number plate if you can. Of course, it could be the local builder or plumber but it could also be someone looking for defenceless animals."

The number of reports is what lends support to the fact that there's truth in it. Luckily my lot are barkers if a car/van drives past the gate but I will no longer be tempted to leave them running around in the garden on a sunny day while I pop to the supermarket. They'll be indoors. The thought of a possible fate like that would drive me insane.