Police quash dog snatching rumours

Walking with a dog on a lead

Walking with a dog on a lead - Credit: Getty Images/Polka Dot RF

Honiton PCSO Steve Mingo says the rumour of dog snatchers operating in Honiton has likely come as a result of spam posts circulating on Facebook.

Police have dispelled fears of potential dog snatchers operating in Honiton after concerns were raised by a dog owner in the area.

The woman, who has requested to remain anonymous, told the Herald that she was worried that her dog could stolen by thieves.

She said she read on Facebook that they were walking around Honiton marking homes which contained dogs with chalk, and that dog owners were being approached by people while on their walks around Heathpark.

These people asked specific questions about the dog, she added, including enquiring as to whether the animal was a pedigree breed.

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The woman also said that her door was knocked by a cold caller selling paintings, which she says is part of a wider dog snatching scheme that has been publicised by people on Facebook.

Some posts have attracted thousands of shares and comments from similarly concerned dog owners.

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But Honiton PCSO Steve Mingo says there has been no reports of dog snatching in Honiton, and believes that the warnings on Facebook are simply spam posts.

Mr Mingo said: “I can confirm there have been no reports of any dog thefts in our area recently.

“This rumour has likely come up as a result of various posts on Facebook, which are believed to be nothing more than chain mail type spam.

“I think a common sense approach needs to be applied when it comes to cold callers.

“The individuals selling paintings is something we are aware of and we have stop checked several people recently regarding this.

“My advice for residents is to phone 101 at the time it is happening if they feel it is suspicious or ID is not presented to them.

“Additionally, we can be contacted via Honiton@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk if you would like a ‘NO COLD CALLER’ sticker.”

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