Armagh collie owner fears pet Honey has been stolen for dog baiting
An emotional appeal has been made for the safe return of a much-loved family pet to its owner in Co Armagh.
Honey, a 12-year-old brown and white rough collie, is believed to have been stolen from her rural home in Newtownhamilton.
Owner Sharon Drewery fears that her beloved pet may have been singled out by thieves for dog baiting.
"I have heard that they steal older dogs for baiting. It makes me feel sick," she said. The dog disappeared from the rear garden of her home on November 25.
Sharon believes that the dog may have been snatched by thieves after being lured through a hole in the fence.
She explained fresh paw prints had been seen in snow beside footprints outside the garden.
"We have lived here for five years and she has never attempted to go off the grounds.
"She just would not have gone anywhere. It would be extremely out of character," said Sharon.
"I have been all round the area to look for her. We are devastated. I can't stop worrying.
"I can hardly eat, and can't sleep properly."
She added that the 12-year-old collie has been spayed although would-be thieves may have considered the dog to be younger due to its agility.
Meanwhile, she has thanked those who have rallied round with support.
"People have been extremely brilliant but it is the not knowing that is the worst."
A PSNI spokesperson said: "Police in Newry received a report of a missing dog from a house at Aghincurk Road in Newtownhamilton on Monday, November 27. Enquiries are being carried out, however, the dog remains missing at this time."
Julieanne Morrison, of Pets Lost and Found, an online group, says she believes that the theft of dogs is "rife" in Northern Ireland.
She reported that the worst hit areas are Belfast, Nutts Corner and Lurgan.
If anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Honey, they should contact Sharon on tel: 07774 001780.