Stars come out to help put an end to dog-napping

Model Suzanne McCabe with her twin yorkies, Harley and Rocco, at the Dublin SPCA sanctuary in Rathfarnham yesterday. Photo: MARTIN NOLAN

HAD the animals at a pet shelter been able to talk yesterday, they'd have been wondering about the gaggle of some of the country's minor celebrities in their midst.

The collection of sometime soap stars, former girlband members and models were out in force to publicise pet theft -- and they even brought their own pooches along.

Michelle Heaton, Gerard McCarthy from British TV soap 'Hollyoaks', Nathan Gordan from RTE's 'Fair City', models Pippa O'Connor, Suzanne McCabe, Glenda Gilson, Nicky O'Callaghan from 'The Apprentice', Leigh Arnold from 'The Clinic' and agent Tara Sinnott were on hand at the Dublin SPCA sanctuary to launch the free microchipping event.

Ms Sinnott revealed details of her upset when her three-year-old cavachon, Honey, was dog-napped in Dodder Valley Park. "I was so distraught when she was stolen and was blessed that she was released and subsequently found by a very kind lady in Newcastle Cemetery," Ms Sinnott said.

She added that had Honey not been microchipped, it would have made it very difficult for the lady who found her to return her.

The microchipping event will take place tomorrow from 10pm-5pm at the Dublin SPCA Shelter on Mount Venus Road in Rathfarnham, and it will be free of charge to pet owners who become monthly supporters of the society.

Everyone else can benefit from the discounted prices of €12 per pet -- the normal cost is usually €40-€60.

The Dublin SPCA's Orla Aungier said that to date the charity has had 585 reports of dogs missing or stolen. She added that small pedigree dogs are the most vulnerable to theft -- such as chihuahuas, the dog favoured by Paris Hilton and other celebrities.

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