R25 000 reward for ‘most-searched-for dog in the world’

2018-03-08 15:38
PHOTO: Facebook

PHOTO: Facebook

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In one of the biggest campaigns of its kind in South Africa, a huge reward is being offered for a Port Elizabeth woman's stolen Australian cattle dog Marco.

Anneli van Jaarsveld's beloved canine companion disappeared last Saturday, February 24.

She lives on a smallholding in Colleen Glen, Port Elizabeth, where she breeds show horses. She owns and runs Phumula Country Manor on the property.

"Last Saturday, a blue BMW drove slowly past the house. Around 09:15, the BMW stopped in front of the entrance gate.

"One of my workers opened the gate because we were expecting people who wanted to come look at the horses," an emotional Van Jaarsveld said.

"Marco wouldn't usually exit through the gate. He'd greet the guests and run alongside their cars as they enter. He isn't the wandering type.

"The gate was closed and then the BMW sped off. When the worker opened the gate again, Marco was gone," Van Jaarsveld added.

"We couldn't see the car's registration number properly, but we could see that it said 'GP'. Marco also has a microchip implanted."

She said the whole of Port Elizabeth was helping her search for him.

"He's probably the most-searched-for dog in the world. People from overseas are calling me to ask how they can help. Even people from Kuala Lumpur have called," she said.

Van Jaarsveld even created a Facebook page for Marco, she told us.

There is a R25 000 reward for anyone who finds him and Van Jaarsveld is hoping to increase the reward to R300 000 if she can raise the money.

"I was afraid that the social media campaign would put so much pressure on the people who took him that they'd kill him, that's why I'm offering such a big reward."

Van Jaarsveld said someone in her community printed stickers bearing the words "Bring Marco Home".

"The stickers are being sold for R50. Then R20 of that goes to the 'Bring Marco Home' fund, to increase the reward," she said.

"His photo is also up at every police station and will possibly also be added to the sides of buses. Schoolchildren have lit candles and are promising to keep them lit until Marco is returned."

Van Jaarsveld said Marco was like her child.

"He did everything with me and was never more than a metre away from me [at all times]."

"He sleeps in the bed with me and he always rode on the back of the bakkie. People in the town call my bakkie the Marco mobile," she said.

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