DOG owners fear thieves are using drones to scope out properties for valuable pets after a number of dog thefts in Glanmire in recent days.
A drone was spotted in recent days hovering over a Glanmire estate from where two dogs were stolen. They were among four dogs stolen in Glanmire over a 24 hour period, as dog owners across the country are targeted by thieves in recent weeks.
The drone was spotted over the estate in Hazelwood in Glanmire just days before two Jack Russells were snatched from their home on Wednesday evening.
The dogs’ owner, Daniel Lowry, shared the pictures of the stolen pets to Facebook and contacted the Munster Lost and Found Petline, who told him a person had spotted similar dogs in Glanmire yesterday morning.
When Daniel went to check, he found they were his family’s dogs, and their collars had been removed.
He told The Echo: “The back garden was completely locked in and the dogs had never run away before. Their collars had been removed.”
He believes the thieves dumped them after discovering the dogs were microchipped and were older dogs. They are aged 11 and 12 years old, and Daniel believes the thieves thought they were worthless.
He said his neighbours had spotted the drone in the area of their homes in recent days and they believe they were connected to the theft.
Meanwhile, Charleville mum Jenny Foley is making a fresh appeal for information on the whereabouts of her dog, Ginger, a nine-month-old Cavalier King Charles. The dog was stolen from her home in Holy Cross Place on May 2.
Jenny said the dog was the best friend and constant companion of her four-year-old autistic son Ashton. She disappeared after he was left out in the garden for a run around while Ashton was going to bed.
Jenny explained: “The fence had been tampered with so we knew she was stolen.”
She said she had been told that it is most likely the dog was exported immediately after being stolen.
She said: “We alerted the ports quickly and put it on Facebook and newspapers, and I have been on sites like Done Deal. It brings up a lot of questions about why people are buying dogs from the boot of a car, especially adult dogs.”
She added that she was “clueless” about the trade in stolen dogs until Ginger was stolen.
Last week, a Carrignavar man was reunited with his springer spaniel after the dog was found by gardaí in Limerick. Gardaí are trying to reunite another spaniel found with him with his owners, but have not had success yet in tracing his owners.
Dogs are now in big demand because many families are buying pets during the Covid-19 crisis, because of having more time at home.
As a result, the cost of dogs is spiralling. For example, the asking price on one website this week for an English Bulldog pup was €1,800, while the price of a Cockapoo pup was €1,950.
It is believed that gangs involved in dog theft follow the routine of dog owners to find out when is the opportune time to strike.