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From reporter Arielle Kauaeroa:
A Christchurch woman is distraught after her golden retriever puppy was allegedly stolen while her children played at a park.
Hayley Fahey said “there's been a mountain of tears” following the alleged theft of the family’s 9-month-old dog, Nala, from Barrington Park on Wednesday.
Fahey was with her two children and dog at the busy park when she took her eyes off the dog for “three minutes tops” about 12.30pm.
The puppy was on a lead, which was securely looped around a tree.
“I know I can’t prove she was stolen, but her lead was looped around a tree and through the handle - there’s no way she could’ve escaped,” Fahey said.
“Even if she had been able to get free, she wouldn’t have run away. She would’ve run straight to us and been all over the children.”
Fahey said she is shocked by how quickly it happened and that, in a park full of about 50 people, nobody saw anything.
“I turned my back to help my friend’s daughter down from a rock and when I turned back, she was gone."
Her two children, aged 10 and 7, helped Fahey canvas the park looking for Nala by showing people pictures and asking for sightings.
“They were great, they went into action mode. Since then though, there’s been a mountain of tears and bedtime has been hard. We don’t understand how someone could do this.”
Fahey had reported the suspected theft to police, who she said confirmed her fears were “probably correct”.
She said she had been encouraged to use social media to find leads and share Nala’s photograph. Her original post has been shared 1400 times.
“I’m just freaking out because I Googled what happens to stolen dogs," she said.
“I don’t want to believe the worst case scenario, but it’s hard not to.”