A Bury St Edmunds dog-owner has has hit out at ‘disgusting’ thieves who snatched his miniature schnauzer from his back garden.
Fortunately, Bryan Alder and his partner Karen Matthews, of Horsecroft Road, were reunited with their pet, named Toby, when he was handed into a vets following his disappearance on Saturday afternoon.
Moments after the pair realised Toby was missing, Mr Alder, 51, spotted a woman and a teenage girl walking away with him on a lead.
He gave chase in his car to no avail but it was through social media and a ‘lost and found’ website that they were soon reunited with their dog.
Mr Alder said when 10-year-old Toby went missing at about 11.30am from the back garden, he shot out the house to look for him and couldn’t believe what he saw.
He said: “It was a bit weird. I saw a woman and young girl with my dog on a lead. It was too far to shout across the road. I got my car keys but by the time they got round to the Spread Eagle pub they were gone.”
While it is unclear where Toby was found, Mr Alder said he was handed into Swayne and Partners vets, near Asda, where he was ‘distressed and barking’.
He was collected by the dog warden and his owners finally got him back on Sunday from kennels at a cost of nearly £100 .
He said the dog warden thought Toby had been taken for breeding but they dumped him when they realised he had been neutered.
Mr Alder, who bought Toby and his sister Tily when they were pups, said: “He’s quite a rare breed and they’re between £800 to £1,000 a pup.”
He said Toby has settled now but was ‘very nervous and mooching about’ when he initially returned home.
Mr Alder has now warned other dog owners to be vigilant as there was a similar incident in Exning where a poodle cross puppy was stolen from a garden that same day between 6.40pm and 7pm.
The woman he spotted was aged in her mid-30s, about 5ft 5in tall, with dark brown/black shoulder length hair, wearing a blue polo shirt with white writing on the back and dark blue jeans. The girl was 13 to 14-years-old, around 5ft tall, with blonde shoulder length hair, and wearing a pink T-shirt/dress.
Anyone with information should contact Suffolk Police on 101 - quoting reference BU/14/2081 for the Bury theft and NE/14/1243 for Exning.