Blue-eyed pup still missing after burglary

KIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
Last updated 05:00 11/08/2012
Braydn Austin
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ

PUREBREDS: Braydn Austin with some of the Siberian husky puppies he is selling. Two of the puppies were stolen and one is still missing.

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A burglary in Invercargill has turned into a dognapping.

Invercargill man Braydn Austin is appealing for help after two 4-week-old Siberian husky puppies were stolen from his property in the middle of the night.

Mr Austin said two puppies, from a litter of six who were not yet weaned, were taken from a shed in the backyard in the early hours of July 29.

Their mother, Zara, was on a chain in the backyard of the Patterson St house.

"They all would have been sleeping, they were quite little then. No-one would have known they were out there, unless they knew they were out there. They didn't make any noise," he said.

Zara was a friendly dog and had not been "protective and growly" when people picked the puppies up, Mr Austin said.

"Whoever went in to nick them, she would have just walked up to them to lick them, no-one is a threat to her."

One puppy has since been returned after a landlord discovered it when checking on a property in Bluff.

"She heard yelping and found it locked in a cupboard," he said.

The woman contacted police, who then contacted Mr Austin.

His mother, Suzy Evans, said Zara had been sulking since her puppies had been taken.

"She was really quite sad about it."

She had perked up a bit when one of the pups was returned on Tuesday, she said.

The missing puppy was a brown and white male and had distinctive "electric blue" eyes, Mr Austin said.

They were big pups, and had grown a lot in the past week, so seemed older than they were, and if someone had received the puppy they might not realise it had been taken from its mother before it was weaned, he said.

The two that were taken had already been bought by people and were due to move into their new homes when they were 8 weeks old.

The purebred pups were being sold for $800, but could go for as much as $1000, Mr Austin said.

Purebred huskies with papers could sell for as much as $1600, he said.

Detective Constable Kerry Russell, of Invercargill, said other items had been taken from the house and police were treating it as a burglary.

It was unusual for puppies be targeted during a burglary, he said.

If anyone had information on the missing husky puppy, they were asked to contact Mr Russell at the Invercargill police station or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- The Southland Times

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