Maltipoo Nala was stolen when she was out with the dog walker with two other dogs. All three dogs are now safe and sound.
Nala the Maltipoo who was stolen by dognappers last month has finally been reunited with her owner. After a painful month of campaigning for the lost dog, the owner, 27-year-old Melina Georgiou, shared an update that her dog was back home. In a touching video, Georgiou can be seen laughing and crying as she cradles the very excited puppy in her arms. Although it is not clear how the dog found her way back to her owner, the good news has delighted the members of a public Facebook group that was created for the sole purpose of finding Nala.
Earlier in February, Georgiou had shared news about how Nala was stolen during her walk. In the post she wrote, Our beautiful little one-year-old Maltipoo called Nala was stolen this afternoon while the dogs were being dropped home from a walk by our dog walker. As the dog Walker walked out of the car to drop one of the dogs home in Barnet North London, someone jumped in her van and drove off with Nala and two others. She is microchipped and has an address and number on her pink and purple collar. She’s been recently groomed and so her hair is brushed out and not too long. Please if anyone sees anything suspicious or even spots her message me here. Thanks so much. We WILL find our beautiful girl. We have to.
This post was updated the same night. She wrote that the van that had the three dogs were found but Nala and another dog named Chester were not in it. While the third dog was found unharmed. This post contained pictures and videos of the puppy and was shared more than 2.3k times. The next day, the other dog was found in Kent, which is very far from where they were stolen. But Nala was still missing. The family launched a nationwide campaign for the missing dog and even had a £3,000 or approximately $4,000 reward for her safe return.
"We can't believe how much support we've had, even though it's horrible going to bed not knowing where she is or what's happening," Georgiou said, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live."Getting her face out there constantly really helps because everyone has been looking out for her. She's been shared all over the place. I hope that because we've made her 'too hot to handle,' that she's sold on to someone who takes her to a vet." There was a reported spike in the cases of dognapping in 2020 during the lockdown. There was a 170 percent rise in the number of dogs stolen which went from 172 dogs in 2019 to 465 in 2020, according to ITV.
Talking to @NickFerrariLBC earlier today.— Iain Duncan Smith MP (@MPIainDS) February 9, 2021
2020 has seen an increase in dog thefts of 250% in some areas, and a 168% rise in searches for puppies for sale. Sadly, criminals have capitalised on this, as the price of dogs skyrockets. Tougher sentences are needed for pet theft. pic.twitter.com/rpFNdWoNZ3
“It has been rollercoasters of just ups and downs because we have had support from thousands of people, people that I don’t even know up and down the country, which makes you feel motivated that we are going to hopefully find her," Georgiou told Express UK. “But then you get moments of grief because I don’t know where my dog is and who has got her and what she is going through. It is awful not knowing where she is or when she is going to come home. She is the apple of our eye. She is so much company for my aunty who lives alone, she is a best friend for me. It would mean the world to get her back where she belongs and where she is happy."
The dog was luckily rescued and returned. Det Supt Neil Austin from the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s acquisitive crime unit had an important message for dog owners. “The advice I would give from a police perspective is beware of social media,” Austin told The Guardian. “People share pictures of their dogs and puppies on social media and very often haven’t got their privacy settings set correctly, and they use tags which obviously show where you live which is something to be aware of.”
Beware of social media: warning for UK dog owners as thefts rise https://t.co/iPZ9ySiTmk— The Guardian (@guardian) February 26, 2021
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Stolen NALA - BARNET EN5