A devastated family is appealing for people with genuine information about their missing dog to come forward after receiving calls from con artists demanding money for his return.
Freddie is a brown-coloured, neutered male three-year-old staffordshire bull terrier and was last seen at 6.30am on Saturday, May 21.
He had been for a walk along with the family’s other dog, Taco, and was being put back into their car in Shakespeare Gardens when the dogs were distracted by something and ran off.
Taco did not go far and was soon reunited with his family but there was no sign of Freddie and now they fear he may have been stolen.
The family contacted canine rescue centre Room For 1 More Stafford Rescue, which has been helping in the search to find the missing dog.
Kate Edwards, the centre’s welfare co-ordinator said: “Once the family had Taco back on a lead they went looking for Freddie. Taco seemed to be following his scent trail and doing a good job of it – but then he just stopped at the side of a road and didn’t want to go any further.
“It was like Freddie just disappeared which makes us think he was put into a car and driven away.
“Obviously whoever took him may have just wanted to keep him safe but despite several days passing no one genuine has got in touch to say they have him so there is obviously a fear he was stolen.”
Despite putting up posters and spreading the word on social media, the only people coming forward with information have been trying to falsely obtain money from the family.
Kate added: “Sadly, several people have called Freddie’s owners and claimed they have him but will only give him back if they are paid a large amount of money. Several different people have tried the same trick and it is just awful.
“Luckily, we have not released everything there is to know about Freddie and by asking these so called finders for more information it has been obvious they don’t have the dog and know nothing about what happened to him. They are just trying to trick money out of good people.”
Anyone with genuine information about Freddie is urged to call 07751 525806.