Dog own­ers targetted

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

KASEY Vella is one of the lat­est Whit­sun­day res­i­dents to be tar­geted by what is ei­ther a dog-nap­ping ring or an elab­o­rate hoax.

On Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 20, Ms Vella found a green tag on the fence of her Ju­bilee Pocket home.

She had pre­vi­ously seen posts on so­cial me­dia about coloured ropes and rib­bons, placed on res­i­dent’s fences, garbage bins and let­ter boxes, to in­di­cate whether there was a dog at the home con­sid­ered to be worth steal­ing.

Ms Vella owns a King Charles Spaniel, a breed she says is some­times used as bait to en­cour­age pig­ging or fight­ing dogs to be­come ag­gres­sive.

Of­fi­cer in charge of the Whit­sun­day Po­lice Sta­tion, act­ing sergeant Nathan Blain, said if dogs were be­ing stolen they hadn’t been re­ported to po­lice.

“We’ve had no re­ports of dogs be­ing stolen in the Whit­sun­day di­vi­sion in re­cent weeks, how­ever, peo­ple should be vig­i­lant,” he said.

Mean­while, Proser­pine po­lice act­ing sergeant Mark Flynn con­firmed re­ports of at least three “tag­ging” in­ci­dents from within the Proser­pine area, which of­fi­cers from his sta­tion were in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

"[Th­ese are] in­ci­dents where res­i­dents have lo­cated var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als - in two cases rib­bons and in one case a rope out­side their prop­erty," he said.

Act Sgt Flynn said in all three cases, the res­i­dents owned dogs and alerted po­lice af­ter see­ing the warn­ings on so­cial me­dia about a pos­si­ble dog-nap­ping ring.

He said while the posts on Face­book could be a hoax by some­one want­ing to scare peo­ple, po­lice were tak­ing the mat­ter se­ri­ously and in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

How­ever, he said dog steal­ing wasn't a very com­mon crime in Proser­pine.

Any­one who finds rib­bons, ropes or tags out­side their home is ad­vised to con­tact po­lice.

TAGGED: Ju­bilee Pocket res­i­dent Kasey Vella found this green tag on her fence on Satur­day and was im­me­di­ately con­cerned for the safety of her dog, hav­ing seen posts on so­cial me­dia about a pos­si­ble dog­nap­ping ring.

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