Dognappings around Hampstead: Two dogs targeted in three days

Chloe Lee and Dolly

Chloe Lee and Dolly - Credit: Archant

A Primrose Hill café owner told how her dog was snatched, adding to concerns that pets are being targeted by gangs locally.

Chloé Lee’s 14-year-old Westie, called Dolly, went missing around 9.30am on May 7 from Primrose Hill Bridge.

Chloé finally received a call from pet shop owners in Sydenham in Kent at 5.30pm, saying they had found Dolly wandering the streets of Lewisham, and had taken her back with them.

Luckily, Dolly is microchipped, allowing the Kent pet shop owners to trace her owners.

Chloé believes that Dolly was snatched by criminals, who then abandoned her when they realised she was older and a bit crotchety.

The 29-year-old told the Ham&High: “They might have picked her up because she’s fluffy and white and she does look quite cute.

“But she’s also like a little old lady and they must have realised they made an error.”

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She added: “You hear of people stealing dogs, but they stole her and then abandoned her.

“It was definitely a deliberate snatch.

“There is no way that she could have ended up where she did if someone did not take her.”

Chloé has thanked everyone who paced up and down Primrose Hill and sent out alerts trying to find Dolly.

Chloé, who owns Chloé’s Espresso, said: “It was the support of everyone locally was brilliant, she’s been known around the bridge all her life. All the local businesses were sending out tweets.”

Dolly is well-known around the area and she is generally allowed to wander around the bridge in Primrose Hill.

Chef Aruna Khanzada has invented Dolly Delights, a dog treat with apple and carrots, to celebrate Dolly’s return.

She will hand them out at the Primrose Hill dog show on Sunday.

The latest dog snatch has added to concerns that there is a gang of dog snatchers acting locally.

Hampstead police are warning people to keep their dogs on a lead and keep a close eye on their pets on Hampstead Heath.

Pc Nick Dayton said: “At this time I suggest that when you are walking your dog have it on its lead. If you are allowing it to run off onto the Heath or such like please do not get distracted and keep a close eye on it.”

There was an attempted snatch on Hampstead High Street around 11.30am on May 4.

A South End Green mum, who did not want to be named, told how her Cocker Spaniel Cross was grabbed by a man in a “bear hug.”

The four-year-old cockapoo was walking off the lead a few metres ahead.

Luckily her dog growled at the stranger and the owner managed to call him back to her.

There have been no arrests yet, but police are still searching for three white men in relation to the Hampstead High Street incident, one aged in his 50s/60s, one 20s/30s and one 20s.

Any witnesses or anyone with any information can call police at the Central North Command Unit via 101 or by tweeting @MetCC.