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Dog thefts on the rise in City Park

Two City Park residents who say their dogs were stolen from secure backyards in recent months have come forward to the StarPhoenix, worried that the incidents are related and warning dog owners in the area to keep a close eye on their pets.

Their real names were not used in the StarPhoenix story because they believe the thefts could be an organized effort tied to dog fighting.

They say they have been in contact with a number of others living in City Park and North Park whose pets have also gone missing under similar circumstances.

The dogs were all stolen from secure backyards during the evening hours and the missing dogs are all medium-or large-sized breeds, such as blue heelers and pitbulls.

“Maybe it’s all a coincidence, but why three stolen heelers in three months?” said Cindy (not her real name), who recently had her dog stolen, in an interview with the StarPhoenix.

Cindy said her dog, which has never left the yard on its own, went missing from her fenced-in City Park backyard March 17. Her dog was outside for 90 minutes when she heard a bark and went outside only to find the dog was gone.

A man in City Park said his pit bull disappeared from his backyard while out for groceries one evening in November. He said his dog could not of escaped because the yard is surrounded by a two-metre fence with padlocks on the gate.

“She didn’t jump the fence and none of the locks were broken,” Robert (not his real name) told the StarPhoenix.

Robert said he has been contacted by three other dogs owners who have fallen victim to dog theft, all with a similar story. He said the dogs have all been of breeds known to be aggressive, which gives him the impression the pets were stolen for dog fighting.

Saskatoon Police are investigating at least one of the thefts, and are asking others whose dogs have suspiciously gone missing to come forward.

As of April 9, the police said there is no evidence suggesting that a criminal dogfighting organization is responsible for the thefts.

The SPCA has been contacted and is going over missing dog reports to determine if their is a pattern, but initially nothing is pointing to an organized effort, said Tiffany Koback, SPCA Saskatoon shelter director, to the StarPhoenix.

“We are concerned that if there are a number of dogs missing from the area then we need other dog owners to contact us to determine is there is any connection,” Cindy said.

Photo: stephskardal/Flickr

SP story by Jeremy Warren

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