A distraught dog owner broke down in tears on This Morning while speaking about the theft of her family dog, saying that they’re ‘still waiting’ for her to return home.
On Friday’s edition of the ITV programme, a woman appeared alongside Dr Scott Miller to appeal to viewers to look out for her stolen pet, as well as to warn other owners to be vigilant amid an increase in dog thefts.
Alison Hammond explained that the statistics of dogs being stolen had ‘reached a seven-year high’, equating to an average of eight dogs being stolen every day last year.
As she and co-host Dermot O’Leary turned to the dog owner, the guest burst out crying as Dr Scott gave her a soothing pat on the back.
Speaking through her tears, she explained that the poodle, named Smaila, was a present for her daughter’s 11th birthday, and is a ‘really loved dog’.
‘We’re saying that she’s still loved, because we’re waiting for her at home,’ she said.
The dog owner recalled how they left Smaila in their car for a few minutes while they went into Cash & Carry Holland Bazaar in Edmonton, which is when the dog thief struck, with the moment captured on CCTV.
Dr Scott later emphasised that he and the guest have spoken about the importance of not leaving dogs in cars, particularly in warmer temperatures, with the RSPCA stressing how dangerous it can be for dogs to be left in cars on hot days.
The organisation outlined on its site: ‘Many people think it’s ok to leave their dog in the car if they’re parked in the shade or the windows are open. But a car can become as hot as an oven, even when the weather doesn’t feel that warm.’
The dog owner continued, revealing that she hadn’t yet watched the CCTV footage of the incident because she found it too painful.
Alison questioned if they might have been targeted directly by the thieves, as the woman expressed her belief that they might have used a clone of the car key.
Commenting on the situation and emphasising how the family is likely feeling ‘guilt’, Dr Scott said: ‘These people are literally just ruining lives. They say why is it happening, and who’s doing it? Well, with no respect, scumbags.’
He added: ‘This isn’t stealing a watch or a phone, an inanimate object. This is an animal, a sentient being with emotions and feelings that are going to fear, they’re going to feel loss, and they’re left families in heartbreak. It is at the end only for money.’
Several This Morning viewers expressed sympathy towards the dog owner and her family, sharing how heartbroken they would be if their pet was taken.
‘Dog thieves should be treated the same as kidnappers. Lock them up and throw away the key!! Poor animal must be terrified,’ one person tweeted.
Someone else said that they were ‘close to tears’ watching the segment, as they hugged their own dog ‘a bit tighter’.
‘This is heartbreaking. Having my dog taken is one of my worst nightmares. That poor dog wouldn’t have known what the hell was going on,’ another individual stated, while someone else urged viewers not to ‘victim blame’.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.