Dog snatchers are on the prowl

PET dog snatchers are on the prowl in Limerick city and county, posing as wardens.

Marie Quirke, Limerick Animal Welfare, said she is receiving hysterical calls from distressed dog-owners every day who have been the victims of these con men.

She added: “Bogus dog wardens in vans and jeeps are pulling up beside people walking their dogs, asking for dog licences, then taking the dogs and telling owners they can reclaim them when they produce a dog licence at the pound”.

Marie warns that this is not how the dog warden operates, and strongly advises the public not to give their animal to anyone they don’t know.

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“Unfortunately, as these people are putting dog owners in a stressful situation we have not been able to get a registration number for any of the offenders, so we are warning people to be vigilant”.

Marie said that the dog snatchers have been operating across Limerick from Ballylanders to Ballingarry.     

She gave a specific example in Martinstown, Kilmallock: “Men driving a black jeep called to someone’s home while they were away and were in the process of taking a dog when they were approached by a neighbour who questioned them and asked them for identification. They failed to provide identification, dropped the dog and left the property”.

However, she said that there are also dog snatchers operating with false identification.

“People assume that they will target pure breed dogs but this has not been the case.. they will take any kind of breed”.

A spokesperson from Henry Street Garda Station has warned people to be vigilant of anybody approaching them in unusual circumstances.

Limerick City Council have also warned people in be wary of anyone presenting themselves as a dog warden without official identification.