A Napierville woman is terrified her “big bear”, a labrador cross bull Mastiff puppy, will be stolen and used for bait in dog fighting after people tried to steal him from her garden on Tuesday and Wednesday night.The woman, who asked not to be named, said they had issues with crime in the area but she never expected her dogs to be targeted.The woman has family staying in a separate house on the property.The first incident took place on Tuesday night.She said her daughter and son-in-law took their daughter to hospital at 11 pm. “It was just before 12 am when I heard my puppy start howling,” she said.“I called for him but he would not come to me.“When my daughter and son-in-law returned on Wednesday morning, I went to check on him and he had a big sore on his head, like someone had hit him. It was still bleeding.”The woman said then on Wednesday night at 8.30 pm she heard a commotion with the dogs. She and her son-in-law ran out of the house and saw a man in a white t-shirt trying to pull the dog over the fence.The man immediately dropped the dog when he saw the pair and ran toward the railway tracks. “I think he is being targeted as a bait dog for dog fighting. He is only six months old, but huge. He is a big bear. “Someone was in my yard again this morning [yesterday]. It is just constant.”The woman said although she could not prove her dog was being targeted for bait in dog fights, she had a feeling that “something is just not right”. “I cannot think of any other reason why someone would want to steal a dog from someone else.”She said she had heard snippets of conversations around the area where dog fighting was mentioned, but did not know more than that.She said they would be increasing their security to ensure their puppy is not stolen.uMngeni SPCA general manager Dudu Abraham said they had no reports of stolen dogs or dog fighting.“We are very careful when we rehome our ‘fighting breeds’ such as the pitbull, bullmastiff and so on.”Pietermaritzburg SPCA senior inspector Udesh Rajakumar said dogs are stolen from people’s properties, but not necessarily for dog fighting.“It could be possible that some dogs are stolen and used for fighting or bait but we cannot prove it.“If your dog is stolen, you should open a case and provide as much information on the dog as possible as well as a recent photograph.”Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said there had been no reports of stolen dogs in the Prestbury or Alexandra area in recent months. However, he said if your dog is stolen you should report it to police.