22 January 2006

Owner reunited with missing family pet

Sunday Life

22 January 2006

One of the starving dogs saved by the USPCA at Katesbridge belonged to a close aide of DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson.

Sunday Life can reveal the eight-year-old Doberman - named 'Trooper' - was stolen from the home of top DUP man's personal assistant, Paul Stewart, last September.

Mr Stewart's family undertook a series of searches for the family pet, but believed it was dead as the weeks went by without any news.

It was only when the Dromara man watched events from the USPCA's raid at Katesbridge unfold, did he believe his pet was alive.

He was convinced one of the dogs captured on camera, was his beloved pet.

Said Mr Stewart: "Let's put it this way - the dog was in a lot better condition when it left here than it was when we found it again.

"We obviously thought the dog was dead because of the amount of time it was away from our home.

"You can't really tell from the TV but I had a funny feeling it was Trooper, and I immediately contacted the USPCA.

"As soon as I saw the dog I knew it was Trooper. I couldn't wait to get him home.

"I'm just so pleased my dog has been saved from living in such horrible conditions."

"I just don't know how anyone could steal a dog and let it live in such horrible conditions."

The Lagan Valley MP praised the USPCA for rescuing the dogs.

Added Mr Donaldson: "These dogs were living in terrible conditions and I'm just so pleased they have been rescued.

"But I think this puppy farm in Katesbridge is only the tip of the iceberg and I think more needs to be done to combat the problem."

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