When Wallace was kidnapped
|In April 2006 my lovely Wallace was kidnapped from right in front of my home. The Irish Gypsies were in town with the Fair and in a profiling instance that turned out to be fully justified, they were revealed as the thieves, stealing dogs to ransom while holding them in inhumane conditions. Here’s the story told in two parts on this page, first the summary story, in Wallaces’ words, and then the actual pages I posted at the time.
Beautiful Wallace has since passed, In June of 2013, aged 15. After a full and wonderful life in which he raised two boys, won many hearts and patrolled the Riverbank towpath daily.
And here are the pages I posted at the time.
Wallace is Missing…. fromThursday 6th…..to his return at 2PM on Friday 14th……On April 6th, around 1.45 PM, just days after his 8th birthday, Wallace disappeared from right outside his home. Exhaustive efforts have followed involving dozens of wonderful people putting in huge effort. All of which points to one thing only. Pet theft. The practice of stealing dogs for profit.We believe a car pulled up outside while he was checking his patch in front of the house. The door opens, and a snack is offered. The dog approaches the ‘friendly’ car – the snack withdraws into the car – the dog jumps in after it. The door closes and within 30 seconds the car has disappeared.
To make matters worse – Wallace is on medication. Last week in an incident involving high bravado off the sofa arm, Wallace performed the infamous ‘leap of death’. An exercise where he launches himself into space, landing on the other side of the sofa. Sadly his second attempt at this foolhardy maneuvered resulted in a bad landing and a dislocated vertebra. The Vet successfully diagnosed an anti -inflammatory drug that un seized his locked rear legs. However without this anti inflammatory drug (He’s on 2 a day) we fear the partial paralyses of the rear legs may return. That’s not to mention the effects the stress of being kidnapped must be imposing on him.
We now hope that wherever Wallace is – he is at least well, and that our offer of cash reward for his return will reach the ears of his captors. Whether their motive was well intentioned or not.
His many friends have been great with all the support. This story seems to have touched a great many hearts in a very short space of time. Increasingly we are using this opportunity to highlight this new blight on our society – dog theft. Imagine just for a second what it must take to make someone behave in this way for a couple of hundred quid?
You can help find Wallace by circulating his picture as widely as possible in the hope that someone will spot him and return him to his home.
|Progress: Saturday 8th.We have managed to get the Police to issue an incident number, meaning Wallace is ‘Stolen’ and has not wondered. This was not as easy as it is to write the words. Police are reluctant to treat dog theft as crime. The law however makes dogs ‘Chattels’ and so they are property that is owned – like a car, and their theft should be treated accordingly. Having a police reference number meant we could get a report on the local CCTV. Unfortunately no camera covered the area at the time of the abduction. We had a great conversation with Jayne Hayes – who runs a brilliant website www.doglost.co.uk Jayne has worked helping trace Lionel Blairs dog who is also missing.Jayne has listed Wallace and her network of helpers are promoting his picture and details far and wide. Jayne suggests more likely than not he has already been sold and is not too far away. Another caller – a local journalist made us aware that there is a strong Irish traveler element who steal complete dogs to take back to Southern Ireland where lax dog laws have led to the disgusting practice of puppy farming. Horrendous. Read here at your own peril. http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hopeuk/ The advice from that journalist was to offer money to induce the thieves to sell him back rather than profit from shipping him out to stud in horrendous conditions. I am not energising that negative thought though. Battersea dogs home have been brilliant as well – posting pics and providing helpful advice.And I have had so many fantastic messages from Wallace’s friends from around the world.|
|Progress Sunday 9th.We have calculated over 500 flyers have been posted in a 5 Mile radius in the obvious sites. Paths, pubs, train stations, news agents, taxi ranks, supermarkets, bus shelters, post offices, fields and so on. We have specifically targetted the sector most likely to be supportive – dog walkers, and created a little flyer that we hand out in case they spot Wallace. You can download the flyer here. In leaving no stone unturned we have asked a dear friend of Wallace’s, Diana Cooper, to consult an Animal Psychic. She reports this morning that “Wallace is well. He is 6 or 7 miles away from home. He is walking with a woman and her daughter.” We hope for more from this source.We have had many phone calls with suggestions and recommendations but to this point not a single hard lead.|
|Progress Monday 10th.We were contacted by journalist Goolistan Cooper – who is putting together a story about Wallace for local paper. (Surrey Comet). It is going on the ‘friend to the stars’ angle to generate some interest. They sent a photographer and we staged a pic of myself putting up a ‘Missing’ flyer.Charlotte is out posting flyers and accosting any dog walker foolish enough to come within 100 yards. People are reporting they are seeing the posters. Charlotte has put an advert in the Walton and Weybridge Informer.We are awaiting more from our ‘Animal Angel contact’ and our dog psychic…………|
|Progress Tuesday 11th.We have had calls to say local press stories are appearing in the issues for tomorrrow. Lots of supportive phone calls from many people throughout the day. Hundreds of e mails. And Jason ‘Chinners’ our local ‘Monster Raving Loony’ candidate and one of Wallaces’ ‘friends from the pub’ has offered to do a 3,000 print run of Flyers to include with his mailshot for his manifesto. Thanks Chinners. Even the policewoman at Walton Police station (who we approached on Saturday) called to see if there had been any news…..And thanks to everyone who wrote to us today……About 100 e mails.|
|Progress Wednesday 12th.Today’s Molesey News and Mail has run a small piece on Page 2. The Surrey Herald has a half page piece on page 2.
Consensus at this mornings ‘WHERES WALLACE’ meeting is that the school holidays play a part. His disappearance at the start of school holidays might suggest that his cute qualities made him an attractive addition for a family during school holidays…… Perhaps a parent stopping on Riverbank saw him off the lead – made the assumption he was a stray – and in an impulsive moment – drove off with him thinking ‘The kids will love a cute little dog.’………..
The latest from the animal psychic is that he is ‘In Dorset and will be gone for ‘Three weeks before he gets home.’
|Progress Thursday 13th.Today marks the first week since the disappearance of Wallace. In this time this web page has had over 400 visits. The dogslost web forum has had 1,200 visits. Two substantial articles have appeared in local press. Almost 1,000 poster flyers have been placed in prominent positions. Thousands of flyers have been manually distributed. Thousand of e mails and phone calls expressing concern and offering help and advice have all, sadly, produced not a single lead. Our only hope is that someone will spot Wallace and call us. He is distinctive – both in appearance and personality.
|Good Friday 14th. Wallace is home. The full story will follow soon as we get a moment. Right now he is traumatised – and has been mistreated. But he is alive and well. To everyone who sent positive thoughts for his return – Thank you. I will prepare a full page with the story soon……..|
|Progress: Saturday 8th. On Friday 14th, at around 2PM I received a phone call from a male with an Irish accent saying ‘I have just seen your poster in the Teddington Tesco, and I think I have seen your dog. He was playing with some kids on the Brook Estate. Just wait. I will go see if he is still there and I will get him for you.’ I said ‘That’s very kind of you – but are you sure that’s my dog’ ‘Oh yes‘ he said.
Fifteen minutes later a second call. ‘I found the kids but they say the dog is in Hounslow on an estate, so I will have to go and look there. I lost a dog once so I know how it feels.’ etc
I felt certain that this fellow had the dog. I had the clear impression that he was executing a well practiced routine. One that required the mention of a cash incentive. When he called for a third time, prior to his ‘search of the estate in Hounslow’ I offered him a £500 reward if he succeeded. Surprisingly the next call was to say that ‘I found your dog tied up in a yard. Some Yugoslavian guy said it was his. I told him it was my uncles and I wanted it back and then there was a bit of a scuffle, but I got your dog.‘ ‘Are you sure its my dog?’ ‘Oh yes‘ he replied. I suggested we meet at Hampton Court Station. ‘I’ll be there in thirty minutes because of the traffic‘ he said. ‘I will have the cash waiting’ I replied. Thirty minutes later a late model silver mercedes pulled up, (Reg M236 UKL) and I saw Wallace inside. The passenger door opened, and I recognised Wallace. The moment he saw me his eyes lit up and he tried to get across the passenger to reach me. It was immediately apparent that he was struggling to move. Even as I held him, he appeared lethargic to the point of being practically unconscious. I paid the ‘Gentlemen’ and thanked them for their fine efforts.
This is the actual moment I have got hold of Wallace.
Once the money had changed hands, they left, and I returned Wallace to the waiting support inside the station.
There was a blue rope that apparently had been used to tie him up.Wallace barely seemed to register anything going on. He was unable to walk.
We rushed him home where we had the opportunity to examine his condition. He was unable to stand firmly on all fours. He had a small open wound below the left ear, seemingly from a dog bite. He had dried excrement to one side of his head. The first step to his rehabilitation was a bath. An enormous amount of dirt including hard dried poo was removed. This seemed to perk him up, and once returned to the carpet he frantically started grooming himself. Rubbing his face into the carpet pile to get those whiskers looking right.
Looking to the cause of his inability to stand, we examined his pads. All four pad’s have an open wound. This we believe is the result of being tied up and standing in urine. It looks as if the ammonia has caused a rotting inside the pads.
For the first two hours he lay in his bed just lost in space….. And after his rest we took him out for a walk back on the riverbank. It was like watching a flat balloon fill up with air – as he sniffed his favorite bits and bumped into his friends on the tow path. By the end of the walk he seemed to have forgotten the pain in his feet.
He has now eaten his special meal and is sleeping in his day bed. Tonight, for the first time in his life, he gets to sleep on our bed. And then tomorrow starts a new day.
We have explained to him how many hundreds of people all turned their collective will to getting him home and he says. THANKS.