Car thieves poison pets

2012-07-02 00:00

LOYAL to the last, two beloved Jack Russells alerted a Prestbury family that their 4X4 was being stolen before succumbing to poisoned meat the thieves had earlier fed them.

The 4X4 was stolen in the early hours of Friday morning and was found after it crashed, apparently on its way to Mozambique.

The dogs’ owner, Annie Louw, celebrated her birthday on Thursday and awoke early the following morning to the family pets barking. Checking what had disturbed them, she discovered a Toyota Fortuner being stolen from her yard.

Soon afterwards she discovered the dogs had been silenced by the thieves.

“We were woken up at 3 am by the dogs barking. We stood by the window to see what was happening,” Louw told The Witness.

“There was a black Audi driving slowly up and down the street. We thought they were patrolling, but we were later told they drove off after being spotted by police,” she said.

At 3.45 am she went to the bathroom and saw the 4X4 — belonging to Steven Haggard (40), a friend of her daughter’s — slowly backing out of her yard.

“My son was banging on the window and wanted to go out, but I stopped him because you never know if they’re carrying a gun,” she continued.

Louw’s son, Russell (30), said he saw the car reverse out of the driveway, with one of the thieves waiting by the gate, which he closed behind the car.

“They must have had their own key because the car’s alarm didn’t go off,” said Russell.

Later that day the car was found, having been involved in an accident, allegedly as it was making its way for Mozambique.

“The car is a write-off, so I have to deal with the insurance company now,” Haggard told The Witness.

After the thieves had left, Louw alerted her security company, who sent a representative to the house within minutes.

“We were busy talking to one of the armed response guys when they noticed that the dogs had stopped barking.”

On checking them, she found that the dogs, Roxy and Sasha, who belonged to her daughter Penny, had been poisoned.

One was already dead, and the other barely holding on to life.

“The security guy suggested we give it some milk, which we did. It died two minutes after he had put the milk into its mouth,” said Louw.

They found two small pieces of chicken next to the dogs, and suspect it was what the robbers had used to poison them.

“I’m so upset that they had to kill the dogs. They were still quite young dogs,” she said.

SPCA spokesperson Maureen Vida urged people to be “very vigilant” for strangers lurking in their area.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said they were “investigating a case of theft of a motor vehicle”.

He could not confirm that the vehicle had been found.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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