Swiped dog happily home again
As Dominic, 5, plays with his pooch Knala, he has no real idea how close he came to losing her after she was dog-napped in broad daylight.
Dominic Davies and his granddad Carl True were walking 9-month-old Knala, a pit bull cross, about 6.30pm on Tuesday when they were accosted by a man claiming that the family pet was actually his.
Knala's lead was ripped from the Mr True's hands, and she was bundled into a gold-coloured car, which sped off.
Mr True had seen the car drive past them as they walked on Rugby St, make a U-turn down a side street and come back toward them.
The vehicle, driven by a woman and carrying two male passengers, stopped in the middle of the road and a large man got out and started to lay claim to Knala.
The car then pulled into a driveway in front of the pair, effectively blocking their path, he said.
Mr True said he pushed Dominic behind him as the man approached, but a second man emerged from the car and snatched Knala's lead from him.
The pair got back into the car arguing about "whose dog it was".
Dominic was "bawling", he said.
Carmel Penfold, Dominic's mum, said she bought Knala when she was about 5 weeks old. She has kept photos of her throughout her stages of life on her phone. The claim that she belonged to someone else was just a ploy, she said.
Unable to get away from her work as a home child carer, Miss Penfold said as soon as she found out what had happened to the dog, she took to Facebook to ask people to keep a lookout for the car and Knala.
"Everyone pulled together . . . If the police hadn't found her, it would've been them," she said.
She received a tip about the location of the car and had been about to contact police, but it turned out they had found Knala first.
Palmerston North Acting Senior Sergeant Phil Ward said police were called to an unrelated incident about two hours after Knala was reported missing. Attending police recognised the dog. A 39-year-old man was charged with theft and will appear in the Palmerston North District Court next week. Miss Penfold said she wasn't sure how much Dominic understood about what had happened to Knala, but he was excited to see her when he woke up in the morning.