21 September 2005
SIX pet dogs have been reported stolen in Crouch End in less than a week - with many expected to be sold off for drug money.
Dog owners are being warned to keep close guard on their pooches as the trend in dog theft reaches "epidemic" proportions.
The figures were released by charity doglost.co.uk after reports were lodged about a missing Bassett hound called Syd.
He went missing on Friday night from his home in Crouch Hall Road, but was thankfully reunited with his owners on Tuesday after being spotted in Parkland Walk.
But it is feared that a sinister trade in dogs is leading to many being stiolen and sold in pubs in Tottenham and Hackney for up to £100 each.
Jayne Hayes, the founder of doglost.co.uk, and said she is working 12 hours a day seven days a week trying to re-unite dogs with their owners.
She said: "The area is becoming a Bermuda Triangle for dogs - we are getting reports almost daily.
"Money is changing hands for these dogs.
"The most popular breed to be taken is Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They look tough, but are really soft.
"They are being sold for up to £100 in pubs in Tottenham and Hackney often for easy drug money.
"But now thieves are realising that they can hold out and claim reward money instead, which is often £200 to £300."
Ms Hayes said that dog owners were sometimes being followed home from parks and then the pets stolen during the day when the house was empty of people.
She added: "It's getting so blatant. I had one report this week of a guy who was followed home from the park.
"The owner had just taken the lead off and the puppy was still in the hall. The doorbell went and when the door was opened, the man just pushed past and grabbed the dog.
"Today (Tuesday) we have just had a sighting of the dog in Hackney in one particular area where stolen dogs seem to be concentrated."
Anyone whose dog has gone missing should contact www.doglost.co.uk.
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