Drones suspected in springer puppy snatch
A gundog owner in County Wexford describes the heart-breaking loss of a seven-week-old litter and shocking injuries sustained by the bitch
An Irish gundog enthusiast who has been the victim of a horrific crime has spoken exclusively about the experience to Shooting Times. Rachel Doyle, from Enniscorthy in County Wexford, found that her springer spaniel bitch, Daisy, had been snatched from a locked kennel along with her litter of seven-week-old pups.
Rachel described what happened: “I went out to my kennel where I kept my springer spaniel, Daisy, and her seven-week-old pups. I found the door of the kennel open and the padlock broken on the ground. There was no sign of Daisy or the pups. It was only their second night in the kennels as they had gotten too big to keep inside with us.”
Disturbingly, Rachel’s kennel was targeted despite the existence of the litter being kept quiet. It is believed that a drone was flown over the property to monitor the pups and to identify where they were living.
The story soon took a terrible twist. Rachel explains: “On Friday evening I got a phone call from the DSPCA in Dublin to say they had found a dog that looked like Daisy but needed to email me photos to confirm. I told them to check her chip and they said they couldn’t get a reading and that she had a wound on her neck that they stapled to keep it from infection.
“ I confirmed it was Daisy immediately by the pictures and they assured me they were taking good care of her until I was allowed to pick her up the following morning. I was told she was found running the streets in Rathfarnham, Dublin, 120km from her home.”
The thieves had cut the microchip from Daisy’s neck, and dried superglue around her nose suggested that a muzzle had been glued in place to prevent her from barking or protecting her pups. The wound onDaisy’s neck required surgery and is now healing well. However, the psychological damage seems to be more persistent.
Rachel described how Daisy behaved when she got home: “She kept frantically sniffing out the areas the pups would play and is still doing it now after the few days of her being home. Her first night home she was having nightmares and barking frantically in her sleep.”
Daisy’s seven pups have not been recovered. Among those stolen was Betty, a bitch pup promised as a seventh birthday present to Rachel’s goddaughter, Ella. “She picked her out at one week old and came to visit her puppy every week to bond with her,” explained Rachel. “Telling a little girl that her puppy is gone is something nobody should have to do.”
So how can you keep your gundog safe and prevent dog theft? Here’s some advice from Mike Jackson, rural crime officer…
The pups are liver and white and now nine weeks old. Anyone who is offered what they believe may be one of Daisy’s pups is asked to contact the Enniscorthy Gardai Station on 053 924 2580. The Kennel Club advise that you should never buy a pup without first seeing it with the mother and that if you are at all suspicious about a pup you should report it.