“I have alarms and cameras just to ward off thieves, but they still stole my dogs”

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Six weeks ago the entire litter of six Cardigan Corgis from dog breeder Marie Butler was stolen from her Co Kilkenny kennel.

until reeling from shock, Mrs. Butler sighs heavily as she tries to find the right words to describe “the heartache of this”.

Mrs. Butler (78) has dedicated the last 51 years of her life to dogs and owns the Castle Merle kennel and cattery in Grovine.

When she talks about her stolen puppies, she calls them her “babies” and “darlings” – and says what she finds most upsetting is the fact that the thieves were so well organized and ruthless, and that they treated her puppies with such cruelty.

A puppy, Sophie, was returned to her after friends spotted her being raffled online in Co Laois. When she was found, she was malnourished, anemic and traumatized.

Now Mrs. Butler is extremely worried about the remaining puppies.

“It was my first litter in many years,” she says.

“I show the dogs, the Cardigans (Corgis) in England and Ireland and I judge all over the world. So it was a much appreciated and desired litter.

“I have no doubt that there was a planning. I would consider myself to have very good security here.

“I have alarms and cameras – in one part of the country you wouldn’t need them – because of the dogs.

“They are my livelihood. I have a small boarding kennel, ”she says. “I have a long garden, so they (the thieves) were obviously watching. And I am very organized with my routine.

She adds, “It was 10:30 pm, and I had just given them their last drink and prepared their food for the morning when I heard a cry. The thieves, who scaled a 2.5-meter wall at the rear of the property, were quick.

Ms Butler came out and found the side door was open and the puppies were gone.

“They had to watch me from behind the cattery as I walked into the house and washed my hands,” she said.

“They were fast. For me, it is a form of inhuman terrorism against living and breathing creatures.

“We’re pretty sure they would have been separated – because we got one back thanks to the incredible work of my niece, who is an expert in all technology, and everyone in the canine fraternity.

“A person is being prosecuted,” she said.

“There is a wonderful sergeant in Portarlington. She was awesome. She saved five puppies as well as mine. As soon as I saw her (the puppy), I recognized her; you know your own children.

“I got it back, one of them.” It is named after my great-granddaughter Sophie. And now she’s the most daring puppy to ever come to this place, ”she laughs.

“She was very pathetic when they saved her. She was ill, anemic and malnourished.

“Imagine if people could do that to a seven week old puppy. But she has retreated enormously. He’s a very lucky little puppy.

Ms Butler has also found another puppy which was sold in England to a family who paid £ 1,500 (€ 1,720) for the animal, but no prosecution is pending in this case.

“The guards here are much better than the police in England at tackling dog theft,” she said.

“In Ireland people are threatened when they walk their dogs. The situation is so serious.

“It is absolutely horrible.”

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