A DOG THIEF returned a stolen pooch to its owners after her family’s appeal for information went viral on social media.
The power of social media was again in evidence as the story of stolen Lexie was shared over 2,000 times in 36 hours recently.
The two-year-old Bichon/Maltese cross had been at home in Killeen on Saturday evening, 26 May when she was taken.
“She was out in the front of the house with a family member who was doing a bit of gardening,” recalled Lexie’s owner Ollie Burke.
A Volkswagen people-carrier pulled up close to the home and the unsuspecting family member heard a door open and close before the car pulled away.
The family member found the car strange and realised when Lexie was missing what had occurred. Lexie’s friendly nature had led to her dog napping.
“That is the problem with Lexie, anyone that comes to the door, she would run up to them. She likes to be petted,” said Ollie.
The family had a description of the passenger and driver and started spreading the message, contacting local pounds and the dog-chipping registry. They had access to CCTV and published an image of the suspecting car. Over the weekend, the story was shared an unbelievable 2,000 times and viewed by many thousands more.
“People of Carlow and Laois were great in sharing and we even had people from Monaghan, Cavan and Leitrim doing it as well.”
There were several leads on who owned the car and it appeared the noose was tightening. Then, the unthinkable happened.
On Monday 28 May, a little after dinner, the family heard scratching at the door and when it was opened, little Lexie came rushing in.
“She was in a bad condition,” said Ollie. “They had cut her fur. She had these bites from other dogs. Her coat is in very bad condition.”
Lexie got some emergency care and grooming and is fast returning to her normal loving self.
The Burkes are happy to have Lexie home and want to draw a line under proceedings.
“We are just glad to have the dog back; the people who took her knew they were after being caught.”
Ollie thanked everyone who had helped spread the story, which helped get Lexie back home.
“There is this negative view of social media, and there are plenty of negatives about it, but the power that is has shows it can be such a positive thing as well.”