By Jorgie McHale-Ramsell
A HEARTBROKEN family are pleading for their three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier to be returned home in time for Christmas.
A reward of £1,000 is being offered for the return of Lottie the blue Staffy, who was stolen from the back garden of their home in Marple, Stockport, at the end of October.
Lottie’s owner, Lorraine Moores, 50, has started a Facebook campaign to help find her lost dog. The group called Find Lottie (LULU) has reached over 6,000 likes in one month.
Lorraine’s daughter Amy, 25, said: “My Christmas tradition consists of drinking mulled wine, watching The Grinch and dressing Lottie up in something festive so she can also get in the Christmas spirit too.
“This year I put my tree up and there was a huge hole in my heart because my precious girl wasn’t there to share it with me.”
Several family members and friends of Lottie’s family update the public on any progress they have finding Lottie.
Hundreds of leaflets have been distributed throughout the Stockport area appealing for the pet’s whereabouts.
Police say three dogs a week are being stolen in Manchester with cases up 38 per cent since the previous year.
Thefts of Staffordshire bull terriers are particularly common in the Greater Manchester area.
A spokesperson for Pets4Homes, a website for advertising pets, said the breed are one of the most commonly stolen dogs: “Staffordshire bull terriers are very easily available to buy and rehoming centres always have a significant number of dogs of the breed in their care awaiting rehoming.
“However, this does not mean that thieves pass by this highly desirable breed.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “It is more common for Staffys to be stolen nearer to the Christmas period.
“Dog owners must keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviours and make sure to not leave pets unattended.
“Get to know your local community and neighbours who can help to look out for your pets’ safety.”
Mrs Moores’ son Jonathon, 29, said they will never give up searching for Lottie.
He said: “Our family will do whatever it takes to bring her home.”
If you have seen Lottie in the Greater Manchester area contact Amy on 07860 464 621.