Man claiming to be dog warden tried to steal dogs from home in North Cork

Man claiming to be dog warden tried to steal dogs from home in North Cork

A dog-owner in Co Cork says a man tried to steal her two dogs from her home by claiming to be a dog warden.

Ashling Willis was at her home in Kanturk yesterday morning when she heard her dogs barking outside. Upon investigating, she found a man on her property in a green van.

Ashling claims the man told her he was a dog warden and had come to seize her two pets, a Spanish Mastiff and an English Bull Terrier, after accusing her of not having licences for the dogs.

"He told me he was a dog warden and there was no licence registered to this address for the dogs and he was going to seize them," Aisling told C103's Cork Today Show.

The man, who Ashling believes is aged in his 50s and had a Tipperary accent, had backed up his vehicle to the gate and the van door was open at the back.

She said the man "shot off" after she threatened to phone the gardaí when he refused to show her a form of ID.

"He was very aggressive," Ashling said.

He had curly, grey hair, He had piercing blue eyes. He was in a small green van but the number plate was covered. He had a black tape or black silage wrap over the number plate so you couldn't see it.

"I tried to glimpse at the [tax and insurance] disks in the front of the car but you couldn't see them. There was alarm bells in my head that something wasn't right."

Ashling, who is a dog trainer and an animal behaviourist, believes the man would have used her dogs in illegal fights and decided to make other dog owners aware of the incident through Facebook.

"I went into the guards. This has happened before, it happens quite a lot around Ireland but it's not spoken of. That's why I'm trying to raise awareness of it. Two people contacted me [after her Facebook post was published]. It happened in Carlow recently and Waterford back during the summer. It happened exactly the self-same way."

She said a previous dog she owned had been targetted by thieves before.

"We used to have a Rottweiler when we lived in Killorglin. Every year during Puck Fair we used to have cameras on the stables for the horses and on the dog. We had people trying to take them then. It happens a lot, you'd be surprised how much it happens around Ireland. Speaking to the [Facebook] group last night, it seems to be becoming more frequent.

I'm setting up CCTV and got the gates padlocked but you shouldn't have to do that.


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