Dognapping gang smash their way into kennels but end up stealing ‘wrong’ dog by snatching 11-year-old spaniel Tilly instead of award-winning youngster Molly

  • Thieves smashed into Hardiwick Boarding Kennels in North Staffordshire Sunday
  • The dognappers took 11-year-old Springer Spaniel Tilly, who has health issues 
  • Charity trustee John Powell, 73, believes thieves were after younger dog Molly

Dognappers who broke into a charity’s dog kennels in the middle of the night are believed to have stolen the ‘wrong’ dog after they took an 11-year-old Springer Spaniel in place of an award-winning youngster.

The thieves, who smashed into Hardiwick Boarding Kennels in Caverswall, North Staffordshire, in the early hours of Sunday took the senior dog named Tilly, who is in poor health.

John Powell, 73, who is a trustee of the Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue charity, told Stoke-on-Trent Live that he believes the thieves were there to steal a much younger dog named Molly. 

The thieves, who smashed into Hardiwick Boarding Kennels in Caverswall, North Staffordshire, in the early hours of Sunday took the senior dog named Tilly (pictured), who is in poor health

He told how the thieves had ‘broken down the door’ to get to Tilly, who had only been at the kennels for a week and requires daily medication for her many kidney problems.

Mr Powell told the publication: ‘I think [the thieves] were after Molly but she had already been rehomed last week. Her picture had been on social media as she had come joint first in an Easter competition.

‘Tilly is a much older dog with health problems but I guess in the night they couldn’t tell.’

Thieves had ‘broken down the door’ to get to Tilly (pictured), who had only been at the kennels for a week and requires daily medication for her many kidney problems

The 11-year-old Springer had been taken in by the charity last week by dog wardens in Stoke-on-Trent

Hours later Mr Powell received a call from a private number, with a man with a ‘thick Irish accent’ asking him to come to an address in Telford, which turned out to be an Asda superstore on arrival. Once there he was not able to find the man. 

Mr Powell believes the man who rang had been part of the group who took Tilly. 

The 11-year-old Springer had been taken in by the charity last week by dog wardens in Stoke-on-Trent. A scan of her microchip revealed that her owner was very ill in hospital.  

If Tilly is found Mr Powell hopes to rehome her himself and said that the dog had nine rotten teeth out on Friday and needs to be cared for.

If Tilly is found Mr Powell hopes to rehome her himself and said that the dog had nine rotten teeth out on Friday and needs to be cared for

He added: ‘I just hope we get her back to us safely. She’s a lovely dog with a wonderful temperament and I’m sure she must be very scared wherever she is.’ 

The search for Tilly continues tonight, with Staffordshire Police now involved. 

 MailOnline has contacted Staffordshire Police for comment. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 133 of April 11 or West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident number 361 of April 11. 

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