A Red Deer dog owner isn’t letting her pets out of her sight after someone tried to steal her Pomeranian from her backyard.
It isn’t the first case of dog-napping in the region, and the recent incident has other central Alberta dog owners expressing concern on social media.
Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Delaney Leger, who lives in the Normandeau area, left her Pomeranian called Jake, and Kida, a Shetland sheepdog, outside like any other day.
The pet owner keeps a close eye on them, she said Wednesday.
“My Sheltie is very wary of strangers, so I hear barking when they’re outside and there are people walking by… so when that happens, I peek my head out and make sure they’re OK,” she said.
But this time, when Kida barked, it was because a woman was trying to pick up friendly little Jake by leaning over the fence.
“I said ‘what are you doing?’ and she looked startled. And she keeps going to reach him, so I yelled at her ‘to get out of here.’ I’m in my bare feet, walk out on to the deck and follow out and then she takes off,” said the 24-year-old Red Deer resident.
Leger said the incident happened quickly, leaving her adrenaline running and making her nervous and scared.
The worried dog owner said Kida was barking throughout the dog-napping attempt, “but this lady didn’t seem to care at all.”
She said the woman had blond hair and was wearing a black winter jacket with the hood up.
“The fact that she didn’t back off immediately when I started talking to her is very alarming. I had to go outside and raise my voice so she would back off.”
Leger said taking a photo or a video didn’t occur to her at the time, because it happened so fast.
“Jake weighs about 13 pounds – couple more seconds and she could’ve picked him up and then gone.”
Leger said she called the authorities about the incident.
When she posted her experience on Facebook, many pet owners voiced their own concerns.
Melissa Preston, another Red Deer pet owner, has two cats and an eight-month-old dog. The animal lover and advocate said the incident hits home for pet owners like her.
“I can’t even let my dog play in the backyard… that’s how afraid I am,” she said, adding she accompanies her Labrador cross every time the puppy needs to go outside.
This is not the first time dog-napping concerns have been raised in central Alberta. A woman was sentenced to 90 days in prison in Red Deer court in November after a bizarre dog-napping incident.
The culprit posed as an animal control officer in an attempt to steal an Innisfail woman’s dog.