1. ITV Report

Owner of dog stolen in Cornwall told to pay £1,000 or Waffle will be beheaded

Waffle is a six-month-old labradoodle. Credit: Family photo

The owner of a dog stolen at knifepoint has received a prank message saying her dog would be beheaded unless she paid £1,000.

Cathryn Hussain said her Christmas had been "a wash out" of "sick" prank calls about her dog.

Five days before Christmas, Waffle, a six-month-old labradoodle, was stolen in St Austell while owner Cathryn took him for a walk in the Belmont road area.

Waffle's owner described her ordeal to ITV West Country. Credit: Family photo

Cathryn said she was approached by a male holding what she believed to be a knife.

The suspect was wearing a black, hooded top and scarf and spoke with a foreign accent.

Sergeant Steve White from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The family of Waffle are very distraught and upset at the callous theft of their pet dog.

“Myself and all of the officers at the police station dealing with this crime also feel very sad for the family over what is a cruel and mean-spirited crime, especially during the Christmas period."

Officers have been checking local CCTV and making enquiries into the theft of Waffle.

The family is appealing on Facebook for people to help with the search. Credit: Family poster / Facebook

Waffle still hasn’t been found. Police are trawling through lots of CCTV and following up leads.

We’re all just a bit fed up of the prank calls that all seem to go through to my daughter’s phone.

We received a text from someone saying they wanted £1,000 or Waffle would be beheaded. Police have traced the person who was a female and not from Cornwall. How dare someone use Waffle’s disappearance to try and make money.

There was also another text from someone saying their ex stole my dog followed by another message saying they’d actually bought him.

Christmas was difficult as I’ve got a five-year-old grandson so I had to force a smile for him. We haven’t told him exactly what happened to Waffle yet.

Christmas really was a washout and was extremely upsetting for us. We just want Waffle home and for things to go back to normal.

– Cathryn Hussain

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, or email, quoting log number 0116 231219.