The Fiji Times

Increase in dog theft

- By REPEKA NASIKO

ANIMAL shelter Greater Good Foundation Fiji has expressed concern over the increasing number of pets stolen from their homes by wild pig hunters.

The animal shelter has been tending to pets rescued from highland villages where pig hunting is rife.

Foundation project manager Ghazala Buksh said one of their recent rescues was a female dog that was allegedly mutilated by the villagers.

“Because of the work that we do, we have been quite involved in the rescue of animals from villages,” she said.

“We get numerous calls from people who see people taking dogs right in front of them in Ba and Lautoka.

“These men walk around with ropes, wires and bags, whatever it takes really to steal these animals.”

She said the stolen animals were usually pets from residentia­l areas.

“They are looking for big, healthy and strong dogs.

“They are not interested in weak, starving street dogs.”

She said since most homes in Fiji were not fenced, it made it easier for the culprits to steal the animals.

“People’s dogs are usually just sitting by the boundaries of their homes and that is enough for these individual­s to go in and tie the animal.

“We know of people with gated homes who have had their pets stolen and taken to these inland villages.

“There was a recent case in Ratu Cakobau Street in Lautoka where some villagers came for a visit and during the night, they went out on the prowl looking for dogs they could take back with them. A neighbour reported them to us and she told us that this household did not have dogs and all of a sudden they have eight or nine dogs that were tied up and crying out all night.”

She said pet owners should not have to secure their animals but it was a reality that needed to be addressed.

“We should start with these people who are entering people’s homes and taking these beloved pets.

“It is illegal to enter someone’s home and take something of theirs.

“These people should be reprimande­d and I hope that we can stop them from doing such a cruel act to these dogs.”

Greater Good Foundation is a non-profit shelter that looks after abandoned animals before rehoming them.

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