Beware of dog-snatchers!

OMG!!! We just read that someone almost stole our friend Bobby Dog!

He was out for a walk along the high street in Hampstead, London with his mummy. He was walking a few paces ahead when a man rushed from behind and scooped him up in a “bear hug.”

It all happened at about 11.30 yesterday morning. Kim had just got a coffee at Kape Barako and was on the corner of Gayton Road. Bobby was off-lead, walking about four or five meters ahead when the man approached him from behind. Bobby started growling and barking as he is scared of men. Kim thought “Why is my dog growling? He’s not aggressive” and turned around to see someone trying to coax her dog away. Kim managed to call him back to her.

When confronted, the man claimed that he was looking for a lost dog, but Kim instinctively knew better – “No way, you are just trying to steal my dog!” And proceeded to kick the man around his knee-joint. Yes, way to go, Kim!!!

Just then a white van pulled up alongside them. There were two men inside. The man who had just tried to grab Bobby jumped inside and they drove away.

That was scary! So glad they are both OK though both were shaken-up from the incident.

May’s comment: This story very quickly appeared in yesterday’s local Hampstead newspaper.

Please, please, please be careful. There are dog-nappers and dog-snatchers around. They appear when least expect.

Don’t let your dogs walk off lead on the streets for several reasons – they could be snatched, dogs are still dogs and if they see something that peak their interests, they will dart off. Or if they get spooked, they will run! And accidents happen that way.

Don’t leave your dogs unattended in your gardens or outside shops.

Don’t leave dogs in your cars unattended – not just for hot weather conditions but this is a real temptation for dog snatchers.

Be wary of any strange people approaching your dog.



  1. Tournesol

    Horrible! I’ve heard similar stories from Merton. Dog was lassoed into a white van driving by while they were on a walk (believe it was a non-paved road). The women managed to snap a picture of the number plate and police got her dog back. Not sure all of us would be the that composed in such a situation.

  2. Karen Henderson

    Oh my god, this makes me so angry and makes me sick to my stomach. It appears to be getting worse and worse. I am paranoid about this happening to one of my three, it would kill me. What a brave friend you have May, please say well done to her from me for giving that man a kick in the knees, id have kicked him somewhere else i think !!!!! Not that i could get my leg up that far !!!!!! Thank god Bobby is safe and sound at home with his family where he belongs, bless him xxxx

  3. Cheryl

    That is a constant worry for me. Our daughter has the invisible fence for our granddoodle, so he is often out by himself. This scares me to death. He is so darn friendly, he would go with anyone.
    I’m so glad Bobby is safe!

  4. Pia

    May, the situation was a huge misunderstanding and has been oversensationalised. The “dog-nappers” in question were reputable dog walkers whose charge had slipped his lead after being spooked by another dog. The dog looked similar to your friend Bobby-dog.

    While I agree you can never be too vigilant, being a devoted dog mummy to my fur baby too, this situation was a horrific misunderstanding and case of mistaken identity.

    • Dame

      I don’t think this is the case Pia. I live locally and know the dog in question and he is very distinctive. In all my time of walking daily in Hampstead I have never seen a similar dog.

      Additionally, it has been reported locally that the same people in the white van were out the day before in Hampstead looking for a “lost dog”. When questioned they were unable to describe the dog.

      I am saying this as I don’t want people to go off their guard.

    • Miss Darcy

      I checked with Kim and she told me that they have been spotted the week before and the license plate was fake.

  5. That really does sound awful. The trouble is poodle crosses are now so popular there’s big money to be had and thefts are rising.

    Criminals like this don’t care where they get their ‘stock’ from. Best to be safe and microchip as soon as possible, I’d be tempted to also fit a tracker.

    I hear many stories of dog thefts from my Facebook friends, seems to be prevalent in London and Essex especially for some reason.

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