The owners of a French Bulldog have been left distraught after their beloved pet was stolen from the footpath outside a Melbourne store.
Timba had been tied up near Officeworks on the Maroondah Highway, in Chirnside Park about 2.30pm on Friday, when its believed a person unclipped her lead and fled.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking but we’re working pretty hard to get her back,” owner Michael Ramsey told Yahoo7.
The one-year-old fawn-coloured pup, who was in the care of a dog sitter at the time, is owned by Neighbours actor Matt Wilson and his flatmate Michael Ramsey.
Mr Ramsey explained Timba had only been outside the store for a short time and had probably been taken within ten minutes.
“She’s like our daughter. She’s very needy and very affectionate. She can’t not be around us,” he said.
He believes Timba may have welcomed pats from the stranger before she was grabbed.
The beloved Frenchie cost the mates about $6,000. They are now worried about her welfare.
“With dogs like these there is a black market and we think she’ll be sold commercially,” Mr Ramsey said.
They are now trying to spread the word to get their beloved pet home safely, sharing images online, leaving posters in local vets, shopping areas and cafes.
Timba was wearing a black collar at the time, is micro-chipped and desexed.
Victoria police are also appealing for help from the public and are hoping anyone who recognises her comes forward.