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Sunday 19 November 2017

'This was professional' - Dog stolen from home of Irish rugby legend had microchip removed

'Her bones are protruding'

Peter Clohessy and inset his dog Robin
Peter Clohessy and inset his dog Robin
Robin back home safe and sound Source: Facebook
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The wife of Irish and Munster rugby legend Peter Clohessy believes their dog was taken as part of a "professional" operation after it was discovered that the microchip had been removed.

The rottweiler, named Robin, was returned to Peter and his wife Anna Gibson Steel on Saturday, nine months after it was taken.

The animal had "visible" scars and was in a "malnourished" state.

Anna says Robin is slowly settling back into her old life but she believes the people that took her "knew what they were doing."

Robin and Jessie, who is still missing
Robin and Jessie, who is still missing

"The first two days she was very nervous but she is coming around brilliantly," Anna told Independent.ie.

"Her bones are protruding, every one of them. Her chip was gone so this was professional. The vets aren’t sure how they [thieves] remove them as they are smaller than a grain of rice.

"Perhaps they have an electronic way of interfering with them."

Robin was one of two dogs stolen from the couple's Limerick home last April.

The other dog, Jessie, still hasn't been found, but with the power of social media, Anna hopes that she too will return home.

Robin was found wandering around the Wicklow Mountains last week by a man who was driving home at the time.

Frank McHugh spotted Robin, believing it to be his own dog, when he noticed she was in a "weak and fragile" state.

His daughter shared a picture of Robin on Facebook, when someone recognised her from pictures circulated last year and got in contact.

"With things like this, social media really comes into it's own. If it wasn't for social media, she wouldn't have got back to us," said Anna.

"Whether she was held for a long time and managed to escape, we just don't know. She is certainly malnourished and learned how to root as she is inclined to rummage through the bins now."

Anna admits she always had hopes both dogs would return safely, and is asking anyone with information on Jessie to come forward.

"Maybe she is being cared for in someone's home, maybe not. Whoever took Robin, knows where Jessie is.

"It's bittersweet having Robin back but hopefully someone will get in touch about Jessie."

Anyone with information can contact 089-4887236.

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