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Family appeals for help finding dog snatched in home break-in

Ivy, an English Bulldog, was taken during a burglary

04 February, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

Eight-month-old Ivy

THE devastated owners of an English Bulldog stolen during a burglary have pleaded for her safe return.

Joanne and Robert Powell say they are “frantic” to get eight-month-old Ivy back and that she needs urgent surgery on her eye.

The couple relocated to Gloucestershire three years ago but had left Ivy to stay at their sons’ house in Kentish Town while she was on heat.

On Wednesday January 20, a few days before they were due to collect her, their son had been upstairs playing video games when it appears someone entered through French doors leading to the garden and took her.

Ms Powell said: “There was a TV, an Xbox and other valuables in that room but nothing else was taken, that’s why we don’t think this was random. They had come just for her.

Joanne and Robert Powell are “frantic”

“To think my son was also in the house when they came just makes me think what else could’ve happened. They went out looking for her but couldn’t find her. When they rang us we were just in sheer panic, especially because we couldn’t drive to London at that time of the night to help look for her as we have young kids.”

Ms Powell added: “We have a witness who says she saw two men trying to catch a bulldog running around Castlehaven Road between 6.15-6.45pm. They were trying to get her into a black car. We told the police and asked them to get CCTV of the road but they’ve been so unbelievably unhelpful. They’ve still not visited my son’s house or taken their statements.

“We wouldn’t expect them to drop everything for a dog, but surely there’s a duty of care to the public in investigating crimes like this? They should be taking it seriously or this type of crime is sure to increase in Camden.”

The family has submitted an official complaint with the Metropolitan Police about how their case has been handled.

Ivy needs surgery on her eye due to a genetic illness
The couple fear she may have already been sold or is being used for breeding – an occupation that has become lucrative in lockdown amid soaring demand for dogs and rising prices.

There have been nightmare tales told from around the country of beloved pets being stolen only to be discarded or killed if the thieves find no use for them.

Mr Powell said: “Ivy is a Lilac Merle, a new breed, which makes her very rare and very valuable. Puppies go for between £4,000-6,000, so if she was bred someone could make up to £50,000 per litter.

“But she’s got cherry eye, an inherited disease, which makes her unbreedable. We just hope when whoever has her realises that, if they don’t want her or can’t pay for the treatment, they give her back. No questions asked. She’ll go blind otherwise.”

Their campaign to find Ivy has been shared nationwide over social media and Ivy’s owners said they’ve been “blown away” by the response from strangers, some of whom are trawling through dog selling sites.

The family’s male bulldog George is missing Ivy

“She’s not just a dog to us, she’s a member of our family,” Mrs Powell said. “And our other bulldog George is worried sick without her.”

Five days before Ivy was taken another person reported an attempted dog snatching while walking his pet close to the Talacre Sports Centre.

The almost-thief is described as a white man in his 30s riding a Santander bicycle. Animal and dog charities have warned pet owners to be extra vigilant.

The Met Police confirmed a complaint had been received and it was being “reviewed by our local professional standards team”.

A spokesman said: “I understand that this is an upsetting time for the victims and I want to reassure them that all possible lines of enquiry are being followed up.”

Officers said all possible sightings had been followed up and CCTV enquires were continuing.

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