Police have launched an investigation after a ‘number of dogs’ disappeared while being looked after by a professional dog walker.
At least five dogs vanished while they were being walked in woods by Louise Lawford near Tamworth, Staffordshire.
The dog walker apparently said the pet pooches had run away after being spooked by gunshots, but distraught owners claim something doesn’t add up.
Becky Parsons, whose eight-year-old pug Pablo and Jack Russell Terrier Pug Cross Maggie, six, were among the dogs missing, said she had been left heartbroken.
The 39-year-old told Yahoo News UK: “I’m beyond devastated - it’s only me and them.
“I’ve had a lot of bereavement over the last couple of years and it’s them that give me the reason to get up and a purpose. Now they’ve gone it’s just beyond heartbreaking.
“It’s the cruellest thing that could happen at this point in my life when I had just started to feel strong after things that have happened.”
Becky, who has had Maggie since she was six weeks old and Pablo since he was nine weeks, said the dog walker’s story didn’t add up.
“Maggie doesn’t ever run off,” she added. “She is so loving, all she will do is run in circles around you.”
According to reports, Louise has refused to answer owners’ questions and did not respond when questioned about the dogs’ disappearance.
Other dogs that have allegedly gone missing include a half-blind pug called Charlie, a five-year-old pug called Ralph and French Bulldog Brindle Jack, who is 18 months.
West Midlands Police said it was aware that: “a number of dogs have gone missing while under the care of a dog sitter based in the Birmingham area.”
The force said enquiries are ongoing to find out what had happened to the dogs and whether any criminal offences have taken place.