Cancer patient whose dog was stolen outside shop ‘can’t go on without him’

An elderly woman battling lung cancer says she “can’t go on” after thieves snatched her dog in a sickening daylight raid.

Jack, a Shih Tzu, was waiting for his owner outside a convenience store in Manchester on March 11 when the shocking theft occurred.

CCTV footage obtained by Manchester Evening News shows a silver Ford Mondeo pulling up outside before a man wearing a black coat jumps out.

He runs out of shot to where the dog is waiting before reappearing with Jack in his arms.

The thief legs it back into the car which then drives off.

Jack’s owner, who chose not to give her name, says she relied on him for emotional support in her battle with lung cancer and has been left devastated after he was stolen outside Bobby's Convenience Store on Rochdale Road in Collyhurst.

The 60-year-old told MEN the pooch was the only family she had, after her mother passed away three years ago.

“It was always just me and mum and then Jack came along; he got me out of bed every morning, even on my worst days,” she said.

“I now have lung cancer and I can't go on without him; I'll die for him. He is my world. I can't eat, I can't drink, I can't sleep.

“I love him like a child I never had; I literally can't fight without him. Please, please let Jack come home.”

DogLost, the UK’s largest lost and found dog service, is coordinating the search for Jack and say it is “one of the worst” thefts they have ever seen.

Justine Quirk, who works for the volunteer organization, said: “Any theft of any dog is cruel and the emotional toll it takes on an owner can be utterly destroying – but in this case, it’s not only affecting her emotionally but medically too.

“It’s very clear that Jack means everything to her and that’s why we are appealing to anyone that knows where Jack is to do the right thing and either contact Greater Manchester Police or DogLost so we can get home Safely.”

She added that if anyone has been sold Jack without knowing he was stolen, they should take him to a veterinary practice and leave him there.

Anyone who has recently bought a white-and-tan Shih Tzu in the Greater Manchester area or is expecting to in the next few days are now being asked to be vigilant and consider where their pet has come from.

Jack is microchipped so anyone selling a dog should be able to provide you with his number so that you can scan it, Justine added.

“You should be questioning ‘who is this person, why are they selling the dog on’ and ask what he’s like,” she explained, adding that it is always better to adopt where possible.

“Ask to see photos – perhaps if he’s been to the beach or a park, and get a real grasp for how long these people have had this dog.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said that the force is continuing its enquiry into the incident.

“Officers received a report that a dog had been stolen from outside a business premises on Rochdale Road, Collyhurst on Thursday 11 March 2021,” they said.

“Enquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made.”

Anyone with any information about the theft can contact Jack's owner's DogLost representative on 07981090965 or call Greater Manchester Police on 101.

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