Stolen dog: Pensioners' appeal for missing Daisy goes viral

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image copyrightFamily handout
image captionDaisy , who is spayed, was rescued by Mr and Mrs Nash after being used for breeding

A campaign to find a dog stolen from a retired Kent couple has gone viral.

Cocker spaniel Daisy went missing from Upper Street, Hollingbourne, on Monday.

Her owners, Pam, 77, and Bill Nash, 80, put out a Facebook appeal which has been shared 160,000 times.

Dog thefts have surged since the first coronavirus lockdown in March. Dogs Lost, the UK's largest lost and found dog service, has reported an increase of 250% in the past year, compared to the previous period.

Female dogs are often stolen to be used for breeding, but six-year-old Daisy was spayed when Mrs and Mrs Nash rescued her a year ago.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionDaisy's Dog Lost poster

Daisy got loose from the Nash's home on Monday. Within minutes Mr Nash went outside to fetch her, but she was already gone.

Moments before, a witness with dashcam footage recorded Daisy two doors away from her home, near The Dirty Habit pub.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "It is alleged a man in a white flatbed truck stopped his vehicle and stole a white and tan cocker spaniel that was sitting outside an address.

"The truck then left the scene up Hollingbourne Hill towards Sittingbourne."

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionDaisy on a seafront stroll with Mr Nash

Mrs Nash's son-in-law Greg Mayes said: "She is a part of the family."

The family is offering a reward to anyone who provides information leading to her safe return.

"Anybody could find her - or say they found her - and hand her in to the RSPCA, or call us, the police or Dog Lost anonymously," Mr Mayes said.

Karen Harding from Dog Lost said 465 dogs were stolen in Britain last year, and 264 remain missing. She attributed the surge to lockdown and the subsequent high price of puppies.

She added: "There seems to be an organised crime element involved and it is becoming increasingly more violent and threatening."

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