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Pet is dog-napped; FRANTIC OWNER APPEALS FOR HELP TO FIND CHERISHED STOLEN POOCH.

Byline: JO BUTCHER

A RARE dog has been snatched from her owner's front lawn.

French bulldog Poppy was in the front garden of Anne Coltman's home in Hazelrigg when thieves swiped her on Sunday lunchtime.

They slashed a wire fence to reach three-year-old Poppy, who is worth more than pounds 1,000.

Distraught dog-lover Anne is now appealing to Chronicle readers to help her find beloved pet.

Anne, 54, has been hunting high and low for her pooch, who she has raised from a tiny puppy. She has been scouring the local area and checking dog shelters for news, as well as contacting dog breeders and collectors.

But Anne knows she must come to terms with the fact she might never see her canine companion again.

She believes culprits will have sold pedigree Poppy on for quick cash. Anne had been away from home for a matter of hours, leaving a friend in charge while she did her grocery shopping, when Poppy was swiped.

"I called home to check every-thinwas OK and I was told Poppy was missing," she explained.

"Then we discovered the hole in the fence.

"It had definitely been made with wire cutters, it wasn't an accident.

"They knew what they were looking for. They must have been watching for a chance to take her. "I had seen some people hang-inaround a few days before.

"French bulldogs are quite unusual breeds," explained Anne.

"I had to travel to Devon to get her as a puppy. They are quite valuable."

Anne has now installed CCTV cameras around her home - but it's too late to help track down those responsible for stealing Poppy. "I'm desperate for someone to bring her back," Anne added. "I don't have children. Poppy is like my baby.

"The police are looking for her, but I hope someone reads this and brings Poppy home.

"I'd ask anyone who has bought a dog like her to get it scanned for a microchip.

"She's a lovely dog, I just want to know she is safe."

Poppy is a caramel colour with a white chest and black face. She has a small bald patch on her shoulder, and a tooth missing. She is microchipped.

If you have seen Poppy, call Anne on 07738 290907.

Northumbria Police confirmed they had attended the incident on Sunday afternoon.

"Police received reports of a missing French bulldog," a spokesperson said. "This is being treated as theft.

"We are appealling for anyone with any information to contact the Gosforth and Great Park neighbourhood policing team on 03456 043 043 ext. 62990."

CAPTION(S):

MISSING: Poppy the French Bulldog was swiped from the garden BEST PALS: Poppy and her owner Anne Coltman
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2009
Words:448
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