Video report by Emma Wilkinson
A 19-year-old woman from Gainsborough says support from the public is the only thing giving her hope more than two weeks after her puppy was stolen from her in the street.
Liv Wilkinson and her boyfriend were walking French Bulldog puppy, Boss, along Melrose Road on 17th August when they were approached from behind by a man in a balaclava.
Liv says the man threatened to murder them, stole her puppy and ran off.
Liv said: “We felt our lives were genuinely threatened and you never expect to experience something like that in a place that you feel safe in. It’s really difficult, I haven’t been sleeping well because all I can think about is what happened.
“Boss was a part of our family, he was so much more than just a pet, so it’s really affected us all.”
The emotional impact of having a pet stolen is partly why the government has now decided to make pet abduction a criminal offence.
The new offence is one of several recommendations in a report published by the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce, which include improving recording and data collection on such crimes and making pet microchip databases more accessible.
Liv says she supports any attempt to crack down on the rising number of pet thefts in England.
She says she is trying to stay positive about finding her own dog and that the huge support she has had from the public on social media is keeping her hopes alive.
“People have shared our posts thousands of times, local businesses have put money towards a reward and we’ve had amazing help from volunteers at DogLost.
''That is all that is keeping me positive, because someone somewhere will know something so if I can keep Boss’s face out there, hopefully we can get him home.”