Aussie family's plea after pet dogs stolen from backyard: 'Heartbroken'
CCTV captures the moment two pet dogs were stolen from a Perth backyard.
A Perth woman has made an emotional plea for her dogs' safe return after two King Charles Cavalier Spaniels were stolen from her home in broad daylight.
Melissa Hanson shared CCTV footage of two masked men jumping the fence at her Harrisdale home on Wednesday, before taking off with her pets.
The incident occurred at around 8.22am but the family only realised the dogs, Charlie and Harry, were missing when they returned home later that night. Ms Hanson told 7News she walked outside to say hello to her pets, and said it was "pretty obvious" they were gone.
CCTV footage shared with Western Australia Police shows two masked men wearing all black approach the home from the side fence. "The offenders climbed a fence to enter the Gleeson Way home and removed the dogs, Charlie and Harry," WA Police said.
Ms Hanson told Perth radio station Radio 6PR "Charlie is my whole world". As a navy veteran, she said both animals were therapy dogs and the family is devastated by their absence.
Pet owner's plea: 'Please check your cameras'
The "heartbroken" pet owner made a plea for her dogs on social media and hopes someone might recognise the intruders.
"We have reported it to the police but if anyone knows anything please contact me," she wrote on Facebook.
"The two men left heading across the parking/playground area towards Harrisdale Primary School.
"Please check your cameras if you live in the area or if you were doing school drop drop off and seen 2 men with dogs like these. We are heartbroken."
Thieves urged to return pets
Speaking to 7 News, Ms Hanson said the dogs initially reacted to the men by barking. But the pair allegedly gave they dogs treats. They were also prepared with leashes.
The dognapping also left Ms Hanson's daughter devastated as they urged the thieves to safely return the pets to their home.
"I just want them back. I want someone to either return them in my backyard or drop them at the local vets, I don’t care," she said, according to WA Today. " I don’t want to know the reasons behind it. I just think it’s a very cruel thing to do and just return them."
Dog theft on the rise
Dog theft has reportedly been on the rise since 2020 with suggestions the increased price of animals since the pandemic is to blame. Dogs are reportedly being stolen and sold on the market for a profit.
In December 2022, South Australia became the latest Australian jurisdiction to introduce a standalone criminal offence of dog theft, The Conversation reported. New South Wales and the Northern Territory have both listed similar offences, with calls for other jurisdictions to follow suit.
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