A Johannesburg woman is pleading with social media users to help find her 5-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Lara, which was snatched from her home in Roodepoort on Tuesday.
Daleen Van Niekerk shared CCTV footage showing the dognappers pulling her pet over the gate, and making a run for it.
Van Niekerk said the people in the video looked like children.
"My dogs are so friendly and these kids just came and grabbed one of them," she said.
Van Niekerk told News24 that Lara was the mother of the other two Jack Russell terriers visible in the video.
"They have taken their mom, they are now orphans because of this."
The distraught pet owner said this was not the first dognapping in her area.
"One of my neighbours also had their Jack Russell stolen a month ago, but luckily the dog got away and returned back home."
Van Niekerk has approached the Roodepoort SPCA and vets in the area to help find her four-legged companion.
She said her worst fear is that Lara, who is microchipped, has been taken for bait for dog fighting.
Roodepoort SPCA manager Mandy Cattanach said their inspectors were investigating the footage and checking all nearby streets.
"If we could, we would go door-to-door, but we can’t. Sometimes the animals are hidden somewhere or chained at the back, making it hard for our inspectors to spot them.
"Jack Russells are breeds that are stolen for hunting," she said.
She told News24 that dognapping has always been an issue.
Cattanach said that it was common for stolen dogs to be used for dogfighting or breeding.
"It is important that pet owners keep their dogs out of sight in front of the yard, and keep them at the back instead," she said.
She added that pet owners should have their pets sterilised and microchipped, making it easier for inspectors to identify lost or stray animals.