The Hennessy Cody family has been reunited with their dogs almost a week after they were suspected of having been stolen.
On Sunday 28 July Chulainn, a seven year old Great Dane and Buddy, a 10 year old Labrador, went missing from their property near Inch beach.
The story of the family pets’ plight was shared hundreds of times on the East Cork Journal social media channels, in an effort to find any trace of the puppy dog pals.
On Wednesday evening last, both dogs were found safe and well, but a little bit worse for wear.
Maria Hennessy Cody, in an update on her social media account, said it was "great news and we have them home", as she thanked everyone for their support over the past few days.
"They were stuck in a bog. They are a little worse for wear but nothing that a bit of love and feeding won’t fix. We are thrilled" she said.
Pet theft is a worrying issue throughout the country, with more and more pets being taken weekly.
Social media pages are full of reports of missing pets, with appeals for the public to assist in the animal’s safe return.
Statistics on the number of cats and dogs stolen annually is very difficult to find, but it was reported in 2014 that up to 160 dogs a week are stolen.
While the Hennessy Cody family’s canines hadn’t strayed too far after getting stuck in a bog at the rear of their property, there are lots of things you can do to prevent your animal form being taken.
How to protect your pet and what to do if they are stolen
1. Make sure your pet has an ID tag and they are micro-chipped. A micro-chip makes it easy to scan the animal to identify its owner, making it harder for the thief to keep them.
2. Make sure you update your contact details on the micro-chip register if you move house or change your phone number.
3. Invest in a GPS tracker to record the daily activity of your four-legged friend. The device provides you with useful information to help keep your dog healthy and active. The product shows, not only where your pet is right now, but also where they have recently been.
4. If you are leaving the house make sure your furry friend is safe and secure and locked in to prevent anyone getting in.
5. Never leave your dog alone in a car, as many are stolen from unoccupied vehicles. Keep your pet on a lead when out, as they can be taken within minutes.
6. Spay or neuter your dog as they are less of a target when they are of no use for breeding.
If your pet is stolen
1. Contact as many Animal Welfare Organisations and Pounds
2. Contact the County Dog Warden to see if they were picked up
3. Alert your local neighbourhood watch
4. Use social media
5. Put up posters
6. A pet detective can be hired to assist in the search – yes they do exist, and they are here in Ireland.