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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Two rare Shar Pei dogs worth £3,000 each are stolen - and one is pregnant with eight puppies

-Police believe thieves targeted the house specifically for the pets
-One of the dogs is due to give birth in the next two weeks

By Amanda Perthen

Two rare Shar Pei dogs – one of which was due to give birth to eight puppies worth £500 each – have been stolen during a burglary.

Police suspect that the thieves targeted the house specifically for the two pets, valued at £3,000 each.

One of the dogs, a fawn-coloured three-year-old called Kiara, is due to give birth in the next two weeks and may have been targeted for her valuable puppies.

Stolen: Pregnant, three-year-old Kiara (left) and one-year-old Saffina (right)

She has very few wrinkles – rare for the breed – and has a pink tongue rather than the usual blue-black. The other dog, one-year-old Saffina, is black with bald patches under her front legs.

Owner David Saunders, 44, described yesterday how he had returned to his home in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to find it ransacked and the dogs gone.

He said: ‘I just want my dogs back. I don’t care about anything else. I’ve had Kiara since she was a puppy and she’ll be fretting and not eating.

‘I can’t believe that someone could do this. I believe they were deliberately targeted and stolen to order.

‘This was Kiara’s last litter. I was going to have her spayed after this. She’s really a family pet.’

Detective Constable Mark Atkinson of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘It is possible that this home was targeted by these thieves because of the value of the dogs, and therefore these offenders will probably try to sell them, or the newborn puppies, to line their own greedy pockets.

Wrinkles: Shar Pei puppies can fetch £500 each and make good pets

‘Anyone who owns or loves pets will share the anguish the owners of Kiara and Saffina are feeling at the moment.

‘This is not about how much the two dogs are worth in monetary terms, but about having two much-loved members of their family snatched by some heartless thieves.’

Mr Atkinson said the dogs are likely to be distressed at having been taken from their home.

He added: ‘I would also ask people who may hear barking at a neighbouring property, which you know does not normally have dogs, to check and see whether Kiara and Saffina are being held captive there.’

And he appealed to vets in the area to be vigilant. ‘Because Kiara is pregnant, these offenders may bring her to a local vet to get her checked over, so if such a dog is brought in, scan her microchip and call us straight away,’ he said.

Kiara is microchipped with the number 981000002883431.

In a message to the thieves, Mr Atkinson added: ‘Do you know the upset you have caused this family? Do you have the proper knowledge of how to care for eight puppies of this breed and ensure they and their mother are healthy and are not at risk?

‘You have stolen something absolutely precious to this family so do the decent thing and return these two dogs safely.’

Shar Pei dogs were originally bred as palace guard dogs in China, but these days they are valued as good-natured family pets that are very affectionate.

Gavin And Stacey star Sheridan Smith had her Shar Pei dog Enid stolen from her London home 18 months ago. The dog was later found dumped in Dagenham, Essex, and taken to Battersea Dogs Home where staff checked its microchip and returned the pet.



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