Melissa Baylis, 17, claims a stranger messaged her calling her ‘irresponsible’ for letting puppy Nelly go missing (Picture: Instagram/Melissa Baylis)
A teenager has been left devastated after a stranger found her missing puppy but allegedly refused to give it back.
Melissa Baylis, 17, claims a woman sent her a Facebook message calling her ‘irresponsible’ for letting nine-week-old dog Nelly go missing.
A police investigation has been launched after the stranger said they intended to find the Jack Russell Chihuahua Maltese cross a new ‘safe, caring’ home.
The family had only owned Nelly for a week when she disappeared last Saturday.
She was last seen in their garden on Marlborough Street in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, just before 12pm.
Melissa thought Nelly may have escaped through a gap in the garden fence until she realised it was only around three-fingers wide.
After inspecting further, she realised a bin in her garden had been moved. The family now suspects the puppy may have been stolen.
Melissa posted an appeal to find the dog on Facebook – but was shocked when her mum received a message from a complete stranger.
The family had only owned Nelly for a week when she vanished (Picture: Instagram/Melissa Baylis)
As seen by the Manchester Evening News, it read: ‘I believe you have lost your puppy. On 21.11.20 approximately 1pm your puppy was found roaming around Ashton-under-Lyne.
‘The puppy was found safe and due to irresponsible owners, it has left me no choice to find it a safe, caring home. Please count yourself lucky you have not been reported to the RSPCA.’
The woman sent photos of Nelly being fed at a house before deleting her account, Melissa claims.
The heartbroken teenager says she ‘can’t stop worrying’ about her puppy.
She said: ’I rang the police and they said we had no evidence about her being stolen, so it couldn’t be reported. I went around and checked my estate and everywhere.’
Melissa added: ’I shared about her being missing on Facebook and then the woman sent my mum the message. I’m unsure as to whether it was a false account.
‘She just sent that one message and then nothing was going through. She deleted her account and we couldn’t get in touch so we rang the police again.
Police are now investigating the incident (Picture: Instagram/Melissa Baylis)
‘We had only had her for about a week and I can’t stop worrying about her.’
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said an investigation has been launched.
They said: ‘No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.’
A spokesperson from the RSPCA said they leave ‘criminal matters’ to the police – but has shared some advice for dog owners after the ‘distressing’ incident.
They said: ’We’d urge all dog owners to take extra precautions to protect their
pooches from thieves by neutering their pets, ensuring they are
microchipped with up-to-date contact details registered, ensuring they wear
a collar with contact details embroidered or an engraved ID tag.
‘We’d also advise that owners never leave their pets tied up outside shops
or alone in cars, ensure their gardens are secure with gates locked, and
ensure their pet has a good recall and doesn’t stray too far when off-lead
‘Anyone who suspects their dog may have been stolen should immediately
alert police, contact their microchip company to register their pet as
stolen and inform local rescue groups, vets, dog walkers and neighbours.’
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident
number 1698 or 21/11/20; or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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