A GLASS jar full of drugged food was thrown into a back garden in Castletroy, Limerick Animal Welfare has learned.
A German Shepherd severed an artery in her foot and suffered a lot of blood loss from the broken glass.
The charity received a number of reports of a white van containing a man and a woman in the Oakwood and Castletroy View estates on Tuesday afternoon.
Fenella Samways, Limerick Animal Welfare volunteer, quickly put the warning on their popular Facebook page and it has received almost 40 comments.
â€œA jar of drugged food was thrown over the wall. They were trying to get over the wall in to the garden. There are huge numbers of dogs being stolen at the moment.
â€œWe donâ€™t know whether they tried to take the dog or whether they were trying to drug the dog so they could get in the house. A lot of people would keep their dogs in the garden as security,â€ said Ms Samways.
The gardai were alerted and they have issued a warning to pet owners to keep their animals in sight and to report any suspicious activity.
The duo left empty handed and the one year-old female German Shepherd is on the mend.
â€œIf you wanted to steal a dog you would be able to sell on a German Shepherd quite easily. It was not neutered so there is breeding potential as well,â€ said Ms Samways.
With Christmas only around the corner, Limerick Animal Welfare are reporting a big increase in dogs being stolen.
â€œThere are huge numbers of dogs being stolen. It is outrageous what happened in Castletroy.
â€œIt could be for the Christmas market, puppy farming, moving them out of the country to sell, dog baiting, you name it,â€ they say.
Just two dogs that are believed to be stolen are Molly and Macey. Molly is a three year-old female Great Dane/German Shepherd who went missing in Birdhill.
Her owner, Julianne, said: â€œShe answers to Molly and is playful and kind. She went missing a week ago. We are in a very private area in Birdhill and a suspicious man has been seen around our area,â€ said Julianne. If anyone has any information please contact Julianne on 0876673127. While Macey, a 14 year-old female dog was last seen in her ownerâ€™s garden in Pullagh, Croom on November 6.
After a massive search and information campaign the owners suspect she was stolen.
â€œBoth our other dogs are now pining for her, which is breaking our hearts even more,â€ say her owners.
Please contact 085 2479820 or 085 7274261 if you have seen her or have any information.
Limerick Animal Welfare, based in Kilfinane, encourage pet owners to be on their guard and microchip their animals.
â€œPlease microchip and ensure your chip is registered. It is no good microchipping if you do not register the chip.
â€œWe pick up lost dogs that are chipped and they are not registered to a owner, or they are still registered to the breeder. The breeders donâ€™t know where they have gone. Go to a vet, they will scan it and they will do it for you,â€ said Ms Samways.
One of the comments on their Facebook page was: â€œThis makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach.â€
While another said: â€œThis is why I never ever leave my dogs outside unless I am home. There are no guarantees of safety.
â€œYou wouldnâ€™t let your child play alone in the garden these days, dogs are sadly no different in terms of vulnerabilities.â€
In May 2009, the Leader reported of a house break-in in Murroe. When the owner returned he believed his guard dog had been doped and a vet confirmed it had been sedated.