A young mum has warned dog owners to be on the alert after two men tried to forcibly snatch her puppy away while she was walking in the park.
This is the second attempted abduction incident this week to happen in Milton Keynes, and owner Natasha Francis fears a dog-snatching gang may be stalking the town.
She was in Oldbrook park, near the Cricketers pub, on Monday morning, pushing her one-year-old son in his buggy and holding pup Diesel (pictured) on his harness and lead.
“Two men approached me talking in a different language. I think it was Polish or Romanian. They stopped in front of me and one of them bent down to stroke Diesel,” said Natasha.
But the everyday event took a sinister turn when the man picked Diesel up, tried to wrench the lead from Natasha’s hand, and said: “I want this dog.”
She said; “I was trying to hang onto Diesel but he was trying to unclip his harness from the lead. Meanwhile the other man got close to me and was leaning in and getting intimidating.”
Natasha begged the men to leave the puppy alone but they took no notice.
Fortunately, just as they came close to unclipping the harness of collie cross Diesel, an elderly couple walked by with a terrier.
“The man shouted at them to let the dog go and leave me alone or he’d call the police. They disappeared then,” said Natasha.
The following day another city resident put out a warning on Facebook after his mum had a similar scare on Kents Hill.
Stuart Chambers said three men, all possibly Polish, got out of a white van to ask his mum directions.
They then told her to get in their van and put the dog, which is called Milly, in the back.
His mother refused, but the family want to warn other dog owners to beware of these men.
Natasha said: “Two incidents in one week is worrying. People need to be careful.”
She is now asking police to investigate.