Wake up Chennai~ Beware of Breed Dog Robbers
Chennai Focus is coming across an increasing number of owners complaining about lost dogs. The dogs lost are breed dogs costing a huge sum in the pet market. We want to caution the owners who own breed dogs to be careful while taking their dogs for a walk on lonely roads. Owners who lost their dearest dogs can write to us here and we will do our best to reach it to dog lovers to find out if the dogs are seen or being sold elsewhere.
Watch out dog owners, because it looks like Chennai’s roving chain-snatchers are eyeing Rover too. Dog owners say that just like bikers who zip by and snatch gold chains off the necks of unsuspecting morning walkers, you now have gangs on bikes whizzing by whisking dogs from their owners.
Niloufer Seth Siddharth, a resident of Sriram Nagar, recently lost her eight-year-old pug, in a matter of seconds, when two bikers stopped beside the dog, who was being taken for its walk, grabbed it and zoomed off, leaving the dog-walking maid lost for words. “It happened at a blind alley where we usually take the dog. He is let off the leash to wander the small space. These people may have been watching our dog’s routine for some time. Otherwise, they would never have known how to snatch it,” says Niloufer who has been putting up posts on every “lost pet” site as well as posters around the neighborhood.
In Royapuram, advocate Naushad Khan, had lost his pet Persian cat Bholi in a similar snatching incident. Only, he was lucky to later find his abducted cat at the illegal Sunday animal market in Broadway. “My cat was leashed and playing in front of the house. My neighbors spotted two men, stop by on a bike, untie the cat, put it in a bag and zip away,” says Naushad, who tried to lodge a case with Royapuram police. Naushad says – as do most distraught owners of stolen pets – that the police paid little attention.
Naushad took matters into his own hands and went to the Sunday market looking for Bholi. “When I spotted him, I acted like an interested buyer. When the man made the deal with me, I took him straight to the police station,” says Naushad.
Police say with enough cases involving humans on their hands, they simply have no time to go looking for stolen pets. “We have to deal with theft, violence, cheating, where is the time or the manpower to deal with stolen pets,” says an assistant commissioner of police in Alwarpet area, who admits that he and his officers have received several complaints from pet owners but have not investigated the thefts. “Pet owners need to be careful. They cannot expect us to waste our manpower on their pets. Who will deal with the other crimes in the neighborhood?” he says.
Arunodaya Reddy, dog trainer and owner of pet store Pets 101, says GPS trackers will not help in the case of a stolen pet. “The tracker gives the dog’s location, but the thief just needs to remove the collar with the tracker.”
Small dogs such as pugs and beagles are often grabbed as they rarely fight back or bark and can be re-sold for Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000.
Actor and danseuse Lalitha Kumari, who lost her pug Polly to dog-snatchers two years ago, says it took her a long time to get over the fact that she would never see her dog again. “Many of my friends have also had their pets snatched during their walks or if they were tied in their front yards. Polly had just finished her bath, and was sunning herself in the garden when two people in a car snatched her,” she says.
This year, Lalitha finally had the courage to get a new dog — a German Shepherd-Husky cross breed named Sky. “But I am so paranoid I walk him only on the terrace of my home. I have not taken him out on the street,” she says.