OVER 1,200 people have signed up to a website dedicated to search for one Dublin girl's dog -- which was stolen a year after she bought it with her Communion money.
Lucy, a whippet pup was stolen from Alanah Gargan's family garden on August 6, and supporters have been rallying around on the Facebook site "Dog -- Lucy" to help the distraught pet lover find her dog.
Alanah (10) from Swords, paid €135 for the rescue dog from Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), and her mum Naomi believes that Lucy was stolen for breeding purposes.
The family has received many offensive calls from a man who claims to have stolen her, and they are making a public plea to encourage him to give Lucy back.
Naomi explained: "When she was stolen from us, we got a phone call three hours afterwards. A guy on the other end said 'did you lose your dog? I have her and you ain't getting her back,' and he hung up.
"He rang again and I couldn't answer it because I was so upset. He said to my husband, 'I'm scanning that dog and he's not microchipped,' but I was shouting 'he is' in the background."
The thief who used offensive language called one week later giving the family distressing news, but they're still hopeful they'll find Lucy.
"I got a phone call from the same voice saying that the dog is dead and there was a woman laughing in the background, and he hung up," said Naomi.
Supporters from across the country have been watching out for sightings of Lucy, and so far Naomi has received calls from Skerries, Rush, Donnabate, Cork, Drogheda, and Malahide.
"There have been a few sightings of her around Clonsilla road," she added.
"I just want her back before Alanah goes to school. I wonder what they are doing to her. If they've any heart they'll just let her go. Anyone who steals a dog from a family is sick, and anyone who has any love for dogs or kids will give her back."
Naomi believes the thieves had been tracking Lucy's movements before she was stolen, because they knew exactly where to find her.
She added: "I've dog wardens looking for her, the DSPCA, Ashton Pound. She [Alanah] bought her with her own money. She picked her and fell in love with her. It's her Communion money for God's sake. We have the paperwork to prove that she's our dog."
If anyone has any further information about the dog, please contact Swords Garda Station on 01-6664700 or log onto the Facebook site.