Reunited in Kingston yesterday with their dog Wolf are
Ryan, Kirsteen and Willow (1) Watt. Photo supplied.
A Kingston family is delighted to be reunited with its
Ryan Watt said he was tipped off his dog, named Wolf, had
been taken on New Year's Eve and was possibly in Canterbury.
When police failed to act on the information for two days, he
went and investigated himself.
He left Kingston at 11am on Sunday and travelled seven hours
to Loburn, near Rangiora.
As darkness fell, he drove to the entrance of the property
where he suspected his pet was and saw several dogs.
''And Wolfy was right in the middle of them,'' Mr Watt said.
He said he retrieved Wolf. Roxanne Dadswell - the woman he
had been tipped off about - took all the other dogs inside.
Mr Watt drove a short distance away and called police. Saying
he feared for his dog's safety, he left before police arrived
and headed back to Kingston, arriving at 3.45am yesterday.
His daughter Willow (1) and wife Kirsteen were ''absolutely
delighted'' to wake and find Wolf home, he said.
He suspected Ms Dadswell had taken the dog after he heard she
had ''checked out'' of the Kingston crib she had rented near
his home at 4.30am - a day earlier than planned.
''That is what raised suspicion,'' Mr Watt said.
Ms Dadswell said last night she understood that taking Wolf
was illegal and not the right thing for her and her partner
to have done.
''This is the first time we have ever done something like
this. I am disturbed by what we witnessed [in Kingston] and
couldn't just leave such a beautiful-natured boy in such an
unloving, uncaring environment.''
She groomed the dog, let it run free, let it sleep inside and
fed it well, she said.
''He was having the life that every dog deserves.''
She had never seen him wag his tail the three days she was in
''We watched in amazement as his owner and his children
walked past him many times within petting range of the dog
and ignored him completely. We watched it continuously pace
the same track over and over.
''When they did finally come to take him for a 20 to
30-minute walk it was robotic - they simply unclipped his
chain, clipped on his lead and turned and walked. There was
no pat for him or any love shown.''
Mr Watt earlier said the dog was a much-loved and
well-cared-for family member. He took two months off work to
train Wolf when he was a puppy, he said.
Senior Sergeant Malcolm Johnston, of Rangiora, said police
had been trying to find Ms Dadswell since yesterday morning
in relation to the alleged dog theft.
''It is looking likely she will be facing some charges.''
Police went to the Loburn lifestyle block after Mr Watt
called police on Sunday but when police arrived, Mr Watt had
left, Snr Sgt Johnston said.
Police could not charge Ms Dadswell because Mr Watt had not
made a formal statement.
Mr Watt said he would make a formal statement at the
Queenstown Police Station today.
Snr Sgt Johnston said anyone with concerns about the welfare
of an animal should contact the SPCA and not ''take the law
into their own hands'' by taking an animal.