Samson: Irish-only dog is among stolen
--String of pedigree dogs go missing in Poleglass area

A spate of pedigree dog thefts in the Poleglass area has left a six-year-old boy devastated after his Rottweiler puppy was stolen from his back yard.

Callum McVicker (6), a primary three pupil at Bunscoil Phobail Feirste, says he is very sad that his dog Samson – which only answers commands in Irish – has been stolen. Callum’s mother Ellen says her son has started to wake in the night from dreams that he can hear his stolen pup barking at the back door.

“The reason I want to report this theft is because Callum asked me to, because he thinks it might help us be able to get Samson back,” said Ellen. “When I called up to report that he’d been stolen, the dog warden told me that, in the same day five boxers and a bull staff terrier had been reported stolen in the same area.

“And I read in the paper last week about another dog that had been reported stolen as well,” says Ellen.

“Samson had been put out in the yard after he’d had his dinner, and when we went out to call him a few minutes later, he was gone and the bar on the back gate had been wrenched up.

“It’s obvious that he’s been stolen and it seems like there is a spate of pedigree dog thefts in the area.”

Samson was a present from Ellen to her children – she spent 18 months saving towards the considerable cost of the pure-bred dog.

“I’m a single mother-of-four and it took me a year-and-a-half to save to buy Samson, and the kids and I just love him. It’s so upsetting that a member of our family has been taken away.”

Samson is black and tan in colour, just six months old, with a brown undercoat, four tan paws and has been chipped.

Stephen Philpott, Chief Executive of the USPCA, said, “The theft of pedigree dogs in the Poleglass area is a source of great concern to the USPCA and considerable anguish to the families concerned.

“During USPCA/ISPCA raids on puppy farms in the Republic of Ireland in 2004, it was clear the background of many of the animals used for breeding could not be established, leading us to the conclusion that the dogs could have been obtained illegally.

“However, without a means of identifying the animals it was impossible to confirm our suspicions. We scan every stray, abandoned or rescued dog entering our shelters and have reunited many dogs and their owners thanks to micro-chipping.

“I would appeal to all pet owners to have their animals micro-chipped, it is a painless and permanent means of identifying lost or stolen dogs. It costs little when compared with the monetary value of the animal, and owners in receipt of benefit or pension can have this carried out through several subsidised schemes.”

If you have any information of the whereabouts of the missing dogs or require information regarding micro-chipping call the National Animal Helpline on 028 9081 4242.”

Journalist:: Ciara McGuigan

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