Boy, 4, facing heartbreak after beloved pet dogs stolen from farm
PUBLISHED: 20:38 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:35 16 June 2020
A local gamekeeper has put out a heartfelt plea for his two stolen dogs to be returned to his four-year-old son.
John Leach’s two dogs – a cocker spaniel and an English springer spaniel – were stolen from a country estate near Bulmer in the early hours of Wednesday, June 10.
The beloved family pets – which also work on the farm – had been locked in outdoor kennels with the family’s other dogs when thieves targeted the farm, just days after an earlier incident.
Mr Leach has avoided telling his son Archie about the dogs’ disappearance by explaining they have been taken away for training, but said he is desperate not to break his son’s heart – who is best friends with the younger dog, Dash.
Dash is described as a black 19-month-old cocker spaniel with a white bib and a white patch on her back left paw. She also responds to the name “poo doggy”. The second dog, Brandy, is a three-year-old small, tight-haired liver and white springer spaniel. She is said to be much more timid than Dash.
Mr Leach said: “We are just desperate to find them – they are not only our beloved pets, but they also help us earn a living.
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“That little dog means absolutely everything to him, I’ve always been surrounded by dogs but I have never seen a dog click and be so tolerant with a child like Dash.
“He has had her since she was a little pup and they would play together every day. “We have been frantic with worry and are praying to God that we don’t have to break his heart.”
The family, including Mr Leach’s wife Charlotte, have only recently moved to north Essex from Devon, but said they have been humbled by the support of the local community and police.
Detectives from Colchester CID are investigating the case.
Mr Leach said: “We are just in utter disbelief that someone would come and take them.
“The police have been so helpful, and I’m really hoping that if people keep an eye out for them, then there will be a higher chance of getting them back.”
The family is offering a £2,000 reward for anyone who can return the dogs to their care, and can be contacted on 07967 806059.
Essex Police has also asked those with information to contact them on 101, quoting CAD 190 of June 11.
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