A man has threatened to hang a family pet “from the nearest tree” unless the animal’s distraught owners hand over €15,000.
Finn, a pedigree boxer dog, belongs to Joy Brochert and her family from Ballybay, Co Monaghan, and went missing on December 7.
As Christmas closed in the family offered a reward of €5,000, on a Facebook page called Bring Finn Home, run by family friend Debbie Gough, but heard nothing until the cruel call yesterday.
“A man rang around lunchtime and demanded €15,000 by the end of the day or else he would hang Finn from the nearest tree.
“He sounded hysterical and I couldn’t reason with him at all, he just wanted the money immediately, and now I am in a terrible state as I don’t know whether it was a genuine ransom demand or someone’s sick idea of a joke,” Joy said.
“There is a reward on offer, it started off small enough but as we got more desperate to have Finn home for Christmas we managed to get €5,000 in place. I tried explaining this to the guy but he just wanted three times that amount and wouldn’t listen to me at all.”
Devastated Joy recalled her horror when she discovered Finn was missing.
“I arrived home and was suspicious straightaway as he is usually in the front garden and was not the type of dog to wander. Then when I couldn’t find him anywhere I was really concerned. I discovered his collar in the garden, it had been cut clean in half so it came off and there was then no way of anyone identifying him, and at that point, I just knew he had been stolen.
“We launched the Bring Finn Home Facebook page but until yesterday we had heard nothing. Whoever it was that rang should know that the €5,0000 reward stands, but €15,000 is too much. It’s a horrible situation we are in as we don’t know how serious the threat to kill Finn is. We have of course notified the gardaí and I’d beg anyone with any information to get in touch with them or contact us through the Facebook page. We just want our dog home safe.”
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