Edmontonians living on outskirts of city fear pets are being stolen
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2013 4:38PM MST Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2013 6:43PM MST
Edmontonians living on the northeast edge of the city say more than a dozen dogs have gone missing from acreages since December, and are worried their beloved pets are being stolen.
They're reminding new pet owners to get their animals scanned for a microchip, in case the animal was stolen and resold.
Carmel Baird’s two-year-old dog yellow labrador Buddy and eight-month-old bulldog Maddy are missing.
“They’re outgoing, confident dog that would approach people. If they got turned around or lost, they would be looking for people,” Baird said.
“Out of five dogs they’re not the pair that you would ever think would go missing together. It just seems odd that out of five dogs, the two that don't like each other and the two that are people-friendly and the two that are pure-bred, are gone.”
Buddy and Maddy were last seen playing in a neighbour’s backyard on Dec. 29.
When the dogs didn’t return home, the Bairds got worried and the search began.
“We searched down in the ravine and in the bushes until 1 a.m. in the morning. The next day we had 30 people come out looking for them,” Baird said.
The two animals are part of a growing number of dogs that have gone missing from homes in the northeastern outskirts of Edmonton since December.
That’s got some residents on edge.
“Four of these dogs were taken out of fenced yards. A four and a half-year-old St. Bernard who had never left her property in four-and-a-half years goes missing with the dog right across the street on the same night at the same time. How does that happen?” Baird said.
“We’re thinking, is someone stealing these dogs?”
The Baird’s have put up lost dog posters and are also turning to social media to help locate Buddy and Maddy.
“Our dogs are a part of our life. We are really animal people. They are so part of the family,” she said.
Fifty dogs have been reported missing in Winnipeg in the past month, but police there aren’t treating the cases as suspicious.
Edmonton police say they aren’t treating these missing dogs as suspicious either, but it does have the Edmonton Humane Society reissuing a key message.
“If there's any way at all that you could try to confine your pets on a regular basis in some sort of yard that has a fence, it is always best for their outcome, for their well-being,” said Shawna Randolph with the Edmonton Humane Society.
“It all boils down to making sure that you’re always watching your pet, just as you would your children… there are so many hazards, not just people, but anything that can happen with a pet.”
The society is also encouraging pet owners to microchip – something the Bairds are relying on.
“We think the public needs to know. If you are buying dogs and they are not from breeders then you need to check microchips and you need to find out who you're buying your dogs from,” Baird said.
With both dogs requiring medical attention, the family hopes putting out their need on social media, and offering a $4,000 reward will bring their Buddy and Maddy home safely, and perhaps locate the other missing animals.
“Dogs are part of your family and even those people who aren’t dog people, if they’ll post a sign, or talk to someone about Buddy or Maddy or other dogs that have gone missing,” Baird said.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, I think it’s going to take a city to bring back a missing dog and the only way to do that is to get people to talk.”
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith