A Rockbank woman says she never leaves her home for fear her eight English Staffordshire pups will be stolen and used for illegal dog fighting.
Tracy James says her neighbour lives with the same fear.
“I’m here 24 hours a day. I never leave my house,” Ms James said. “I’m house-bound, but the dogs give me that much love and joy, and I wouldn’t be able to get that from human beings.”
None of dogs has been stolen, but her fears have been elevated since thieves stole two English Staffordshires during a Craigieburn home invasion.
Ms James said she bred the two dogs that were stolen and was worried about their fates.
“These home invasions and dog-nappings are no different than kidnapping a child,” she said. “We love these animals unconditionally … for someone to come along and take them, you are so disheartened.”
Earlier this month, offenders broke into the garage of a Craigieburn home and stole a four-month-old male puppy named Bronx and a six-month-old female pup, Brooklyn. Nothing else was stolen.
Ms James said her biggest worry for the two pups was that they could be used in illegal dog fighting.
“It crosses my mind because you see it everywhere. You see signs of it all over social media,” she said.
“People are begging and pleading with the offenders to bring their dogs back, and then they get the dogs back in a critical state and need to try and save them.”
An English Staffordshire can cost between $1000 and $2500.
Ms James said she “lived in fear” that her dogs would be stolen and never located.
However, a police spokeswoman reassured the public and Ms James.
“We get inquiries about ‘fence markings’ all the time, but there’s never been an actual report of dogs being stolen for dog fighting,” she said. “Social media tends to spin things out of control.”
An RSPCA spokeswoman said not all stolen dogs were destined for dog fighting.