Owner thanks staff after being reunited with stolen dog

Owner thanks staff after being reunited with stolen dog

7 August 2019

A LOCAL kennels owner has helped reunite a woman with her beloved pet nearly four years after it was stolen.

This ‘tail’ of good triumphing over bad also highlights the important of having your pet micro-chipped and keeping your details up to date, says Corran Kennels owner Helen Marks.

Helen could not have known what an emotional story would be uncovered when a man brought a dog to her Tobercorran Road premises, near Downpatrick.

When owner Anna McKavanagh came to collect her cross-terrier Riley on Saturday morning, there were tears of joy all around.

“The owner just grabbed the dog and hugged her and cried for a solid five minutes,” said Helen.

“All of us who were there were extremely touched. It was just so good to see them reunited and I believe that Riley has settled in very well back with her owner.”

Helen, who has had 15,000 dogs past her doors over the years, said that all responsible dog owners need to know the importance of micro-chipping their pets.

“It’s so important to do so and you can be fined if you don’t,” she stressed. “While it’s not that rare for a dog to be stolen, it’s quite rare that it is returned and that happened because of the chip information.”

Helen said that the story started last Tuesday when Riley was found by a local gentleman in Castlewellan.

“This man thought that Riley had strayed and took Riley to us at the kennels and we scanned her for a chip. Riley was wearing a collar and looked healthy and well-cared for,” explained Helen.

“She did have a chip and when we checked up with the chip company we 

discovered that both contact numbers were out of use.

“We found that there was an email contact number and sent an email to say we had the dog. We did some more research and saw that a post looking to find Riley had been put on social media and realised that the dog had probably been taken.”

It turned out that the email went to Anna’s sister who did not notice it in her in-box for several days.

When she did, a flurry of calls and texts between Anna and the kennels ended 

up with her coming to the kennels to pick Riley up.

”I never thought I would see or hear from her ever again,” said Anna from Crumlin, who now lives in Londonderry.

“I was up at my dad’s in Nutt’s Corner but I was straight down the road to get her.”

Anna believes that Riley was stolen from the farm in 2015 when she was just nine months old and was then abandoned.

“I couldn’t believe she was still as soft-natured as she was when I had her 

as a puppy,” she added. “She was such a gentle dog and she still is. She definitely recognised me.”

“We couldn’t find a trace of her when she disappeared; it was seriously emotional,” she said. “We shared it everywhere on Facebook continuously to try and find her, but there was no sign. Nearly four years down the line, I never thought I would get an email or a phone call to say she had been found.”

Anna said she is so thankful that Riley was found and taken to Corran Kennels.

“To say we are overjoyed is an understatement, we have missed this lady so much,” she added. “Thank you to Corran Kennels and everyone that helped get Riley back home. Thanks to the kennel staff, especially Kerry who took that phone call on her day off so I could get my baby back.” 

• To keep up with Riley’s progress, follow her on Instagram @our__life__of__riley.