A dog owner has spoken of her shock after the attempted abduction of her pets while walking along the beach.
The incident at Old Hunstanton last weekend has left the woman frightened to take her animals out for a walk.
The woman, who lives in the Hunstanton area, was walking her three dogs with her mother.
She said: “There were a few people on the beach at the time. All you could hear while we were walking were these different dog whistle calls.
“They were particularly noticeable and also very annoying. They followed a bit of a pattern and we also believe the people responsible for these calls had food.
“One of my dogs ventured towards the whistles and I heard someone else shout to me ‘They are trying to get your dogs’.
“With that, I quickly grabbed all three, put them back on their leads and left the beach. It was a very frightening and scary experience.
“I haven’t taken them out since and was close to tears for three days. It’s the realisation that I could have easily lost all three of my dogs, not just the one.
“They are very much part of the family and my children would have been heartbroken had we lost any of them.”
She added: “What gives these people the right to do this? We’ve been warned about this, but it’s worrying because you know the sort of money the types of dogs being targeted command
“I’ve had other people say why can’t you keep your dogs on the lead, but they’ve always had free run on an open beach and are trained to come back on recall. “They have never known any different.
“I just don’t feel safe in my area and it shouldn’t be like that.”
The beach cafe has designed a poster to alert dog walkers after it was reported that a similar episode occurred yesterday while Norfolk Police confirmed they attended an incident last weekend.
A force spokesman said: “We were informed of an incident at Old Hunstanton last weekend and five units attended.
“We searched the area with the information and descriptions that we were given but were unable to locate a suspect/suspects.
“A lot of these incidents are appearing on social media but are not being reported to us. We would like to reassure the public that they are all being taken very seriously.
“We hope to soon be sharing more information with the public on how to make it safer and how to protect your animals.
“In the meantime we ask the public to remain vigilant. If you see something suspicious, please let us know. If you don’t want to ring us, please go online and report it.”
The subject of dog thefts has become a hot topic across the country as lockdown has sent the price of dogs soaring.
According to the Barking Bugle, an online blog for dog owners that is based in Hunstanton, DogLost, a UK charity that helps victims of dog theft, recorded a 170 per cent increase in the crime during 2020.
For tips on how to keep your dogs safe during these worrying times, please visit: www.thebarkingbugle.co.uk
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