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Nicola Pinner joined hosts Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and special guest Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, head of the new Pet Theft Task Force, virtually on Wednesday's edition of This Morning where she spoke about the dognapping incident.
Nicola spoke about the terrifying incident in the video below:
Mabel was being cared for by Nicola's father when she went missing in April. The dog was snatched after he took her outside to go to the toilet.
"We was at a friends and we just rushed back because we thought she probably just got out of the garden," Nicola explained.
"I looked around everywhere. Looked outside and thought 'this is a bit strange' because usually she would go round to a neighbour.
"About half an hour later it just dawned on us 'maybe she had been stolen' and it was absolutely terrible."
Nicola made posters and contacted everyone she could to try and find Mabel, who was eventually found three days after she disappeared.
A woman phoned Nicola and told her that she had found the Maltese pup abandoned. "She couldn't actually say if she was white because she was so dirty and horrible and absolutely terrible," she said.
The two-year-old dog had been buried in a bag under sticks before she was found. Nicola had received lots of support from other dog owners about the seriousness of dognapping.
She added: "I've had a lot of messages from people saying their dog is all they have to live for. It's like a child for them. And it needs to be taken very seriously."
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, who is the head of the government's new Pet Theft Task Force, said on This Morning: "I want to make sure we get a real focus to this issue. The story we just heard has been harrowing and has been repeated up and down the country we're hearing of thefts involving violence, people being punched to the ground and having their much loved pets taken off them."
In an article published over the weekend, the prime minister wrote in an article for The Mail on Sunday that he would "bring the hammer down hard on the gangs" and set up a "pet task force" in a bid to put a stop to pet theft.
He wrote: "At present this crime is far too often dismissed as relatively trivial - on a par, say, with shoplifting.
"I don't agree. That is why the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland has set up the Pet Theft Task Force, to make sure that the criminal justice system is dealing properly with anyone who is so malicious as to steal a dog.
He added: "If you are cynical and nasty enough to steal a dog, in an organised gang, then you will almost certainly be party to other types of crime as well."
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland also referenced during his interview with Phillip and Holly the growing number of pet owners as a result of lockdown, leading to more dog thefts being reported as well as the rise in value of several dog breeds.
He said: "Both the prime minister and I might be on the tip of something sinister. Because clearly people are seeing a value to dogs and selling them on and profiting from a black market in animals. That's what we want to look at quickly and get to the bottom of what's going on here and then see what measures need to be taken whether that's changing the law or toughening up the way in which transactions are carried out.
"We have to look at the underlying drivers of this criminality and then see what we can do urgently to tackle the problem."
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