Ipswich: My shock to find precious dog was stolen property

Pomeranian pup had been seized from Belgium

A DOG owner today told of her distress after discovering her Pomeranian was stolen from Belgium and imported without the correct vaccinations.

Seven-month-old Rusty has spent the last 28 days in quarantine after having the proper inoculations, and while the issue over his ownership is resolved.

Lisa Sheldrake, of Robeck Road, Ipswich, was dumbfounded when she discovered the puppy had been taken from its owner without their knowledge on the continent and brought to England.

Mrs Sheldrake bought Rusty in good faith for �380 after seeing him advertised on the internet.

All seemed to be well, until she took Rusty to a vet around two weeks after buying him.

She said: “I wanted a Pomeranian and arranged with the lady to go and view it. I went all the way to Kent. Everything was fine.

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“I took him to a vet to get his injections as I thought it was best to be safe. The vet said ‘I will check if he’s microchipped’ and ‘by the way, he’s stolen’.

“I was gutted. It was the last thing I expected. I couldn’t really believe it. The conversation with the vet got worse and worse. He said it was reported the dog had been stolen from Belgium.

“It was the last thing I expected to hear.”

Trading standards officers were called in and Rusty was taken away in order to ensure he spent the correct amount of time in quarantine after being given his jabs.

During his time in isolation in Colchester, Mrs Sheldrake and Rusty’s original owner in Belgium were left in a quandary over his ownership. It also left a decision to be made over who pays the bill for his vaccinations and his stay in quarantine.

Mrs Sheldrake said the issues have now been resolved and she has been told Rusty can return to live with her.

John Chaplin, Suffolk Trading Standards animal health lead and senior fair trading officer, said: “We don’t know much about how the dog got into the country.

“We had a complaint because details on his passport did not add up.

“We put the number on the chip that has been inserted into the database and it came up as a dog that was still in Belgium.

“The owner was not aware it was an illegal import and it left us in a very difficult position.”

Have you been caught in a similar situation? Telephone the Star newsdesk on 01473 324790.