Sara Whomsley, posing at home whit her dog Gertie who was just found after being dognapped, Moorooka Brisbane, Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - (AAP/Photo Steve Pohlner)
Sara Whomsley, posing at home whit her dog Gertie who was just found after being dognapped, Moorooka Brisbane, Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - (AAP/Photo Steve Pohlner)

Investigation into ‘dognapping ring’ ramps up

A BRISBANE woman whose 14-week-old puppy was brazenly stolen from her back yard has said she is very "relieved" to have her dog returned as police crackdown on a potential dognapping ring.

Two days on after reuniting with her puppy, Sara Whomsley said, she's "so lucky" to have her black Staffy back in her arms.

"I really didn't think I would see her again.

"I thought if I'm lucky I'll get her back in a week but to get her back in 24 hours. That is just fantastic," she told The Courier-Mail.

Ms Whomsley's puppy Gertie was taken from the backyard of her Moorooka home while she and her husband Richard were at work on Monday afternoon.

She said painters were working at the property when a man allegedly came in and took her dog from the back yard, telling the workers he was a friend collecting the animal.

At about 10pm that night she received an in-mail from a man who saw her lost dog add online and claimed he had bought her dog for $1250 from a man in Yeronga.

After an exchange of messages including pictures of Gertie for proof, she agreed to meet up with the man who asked for $1300 for the dog's return at a Slacks Creek address.

Sara Whomsley’s puppy Gertie has been returned after being stolen. Picture: Facebook
Sara Whomsley’s puppy Gertie has been returned after being stolen. Picture: Facebook

When she arrived, the Moorooka mother said the man only deserved $300 for a reward instead of the $1300 he demanded and he accepted the payment, handing Gertie back.

"I told him he shouldn't buy stolen puppies off the street," she said.

While Ms Whomsley said she's very "relieved" to have Gertie home, she now hopes the escalation of her case will help police crackdown on a possible "dognapping ring."

"The police are handling it now which is good. If this is an organised dog stealing racket then hopefully it'll be a little bit harder to steal someone's dog," she said.

It comes just days after one neighbour found black tape marked on her post box, believed to be a sign that a home is targeted by professional dog nappers.

Michael Beatty from RSPCA Queensland said while he didn't know the rates of puppy theft in Queensland, he said it is not unheard of especially for pedigree dogs.

"Pedigree dogs are worth a lot of money, like a French bull dog can be sold for $3000-4000," he said.

People have taken to social media worried that puppy theft is becoming more prevalent in the city.

"I hope this isn't a trend starting," one woman said.

Another commented, "It's open season for dognapping by people for cash return."

Picture sent to Sara Whomsley of her dog Gertie as proof before she agreed to meet the man who claimed he had bought her dog from a man in Yeronga. Picture: Supplied
Picture sent to Sara Whomsley of her dog Gertie as proof before she agreed to meet the man who claimed he had bought her dog from a man in Yeronga. Picture: Supplied

The Courier-Mail have contacted Queensland Police for comment who said investigations are still continuing and could not provide further updates.

It is understood police are now taking the leash and rope Gertie was handed back in as evidence for DNA testing.


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