Taylor-Jade Homewood issued a tearful warning to pet house owners after she claims the gang tried to grab her lilac French bulldog in broad daylight.
She shared an emotional video on Instagram after she managed to pry her 19-week-old pup Harley away from the would-be dognappers.
Taylor-Jade says she is so terrified of Harley being stolen she now walks her pup armed with a rape alarm and defence spray.
The suspected dognapping try comes amid a wave of studies of thefts as the recognition of puppies soars underneath the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
Taylor informed how she was strolling Harley residence after a brief stroll at 11am on Wednesday morning when she seen she was being adopted.
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Taylor-Jade says she noticed a white transit van kerb crawling in the direction of her, regardless of a 60mph velocity restrict on the street.
Instantly uneasy, Taylor-Jade stopped strolling.
To her horror, she may see 4 masked males contained in the van eyeing up Harley and nodding to 1 one other.
Because the van got here to a standstill and the lads went to leap out, the 20-year-old scooped Harley up into her arms, screamed and ran away from them in the direction of one other canine walker.
Taylor-Jade, who owns on-line retailer Misshunny London, shared a tearful warning to different canine walkers on Instagram sharing her ordeal and urging others to be vigilant.
Taylor-Jade, from North Weald, Essex, mentioned: “It was a very scary expertise. You are not simply going to provide your canine up, you are going to put up a struggle and you do not know if these individuals have knives.
“The street I reside on is 60mph, individuals go quick down that street, it isn’t regular they go slowly.
“I noticed this van go actually, actually slowly and I simply had this bizarre feeling as a result of he was going too slowly.
“I am taking a look at them they usually’re taking a look at me. I ended, they stopped the van, regarded down at Harley, nodded and I may see [them mouth] ‘yeah’.
“The person who was a passenger within the entrance was carrying a face masks, like those all of us should put on now, and the driving force had a balaclava on.
“Because the van door went to open I knew what was going to occur so I grabbed him, screamed for assist, jumped over a ditch and ran in the direction of a girl out strolling.
“They drove off actually, actually slowly whereas I acquired my telephone out of my pocket and known as my mum who got here out to see what was happening.
“If that lady was not standing by the facet of the street god is aware of what would have occurred, as a result of it occurred so rapidly, it was throughout in a matter of seconds.”
Canine lover Taylor-Jade mentioned she believes the would-be thieves, who have been travelling in a white van with sliding doorways and a roof rack, have been focusing on pedigree pooch Harley within the hope of creating a fast buck.
She mentioned: “I believe they have been attempting to dognap him with a view to promoting him on.
“The market demand now for canine is larger than ever, particularly in lockdown as a result of everybody’s getting canine.
“These canine are costly and he is a pet so that they know he is not going to be neutered.
“On-line the most affordable you will get a French bulldog pet is about £1,800 and the most costly go for about £20,000.
“The merle ones which can be blue and white are not any decrease than £5,000, Harley’s a lilac French bulldog and he is acquired inexperienced eyes so that they’ve clearly checked out him and realised that.
“I usually really feel protected. I used to be solely out for about seven minutes, not even that. I used to be simply taking him for a fast stretch of his legs and a bathroom break.
“When this occurred I used to be only a 30-second stroll away from my home.”
Because the van drove off, Taylor’s mum got here speeding out and it was then she burst into tears.
Taylor-Jade, who’s had Harley since he was 12 weeks previous, mentioned: “As quickly as my mum got here out of the home and I noticed her I simply burst into tears.
“Within the second you do not really feel upset however once you go indoors and take into consideration what occurred it actually hits you.
“Harley had no concept what was happening however he acquired a great deal of hugs and kisses when he acquired in.”
She mentioned she felt compelled to share her expertise, to ensure different canine walkers are vigilant of their environment.
Taylor-Jade added: “I made the video as a result of I wish to warn individuals that is taking place, these individuals have to cease doing it and be caught.
“That morning it was the primary time I would been out [to walk him] on my own however I believed ‘I will be positive, I am solely going to go up the street’ after which it did occur.
“I simply don’t need it to occur to anybody else, if that lady wasn’t there what may have occurred?
“If individuals ask, I am positive, however once you’re sitting there and considering what may have occurred, particularly at evening it is scary.
“My mum purchased me a rape alarm from Amazon and I’ve additionally acquired a sprig that stains their faces so that they’re straightforward to identify.
“I made the video as a result of I wish to warn individuals that is taking place, these individuals have to cease doing it and be caught.
“Harley is such a little bit bubble of pleasure, an actual ray of sunshine. I take him in every single place with me.
“Why are they taking away a member of somebody’s household? It is like kidnapping a baby.
“Why would you set a household via that? Simply because they need a few grand of their pocket.”
Essex Police mentioned situations of canine thefts in Essex had dropped from 65 studies in 2019, to 60 in 2020.
To date this yr that they had obtained 5 studies of canine thefts, with all the canine reported to have been stolen from houses or gardens.
An Essex Police spokesman mentioned: “At round 11am, on Wednesday 17 February, a canine walker reported that three males have been seen to be performing suspiciously in a van.
“The involved canine walker instantly left the realm. No try and take the canine was reported.
“It will be important that for those who spot any exercise which you consider to be suspicious, please report it to us instantly.”