Dog snatched from child is reunited with his owners
A young Wexford boy has been reunited with the puppy snatched from him in the Aldi car park at Clonard.
The six-month-old pug called Niki was found by gardaí 180km away locked in a shed in the garden of an unoccupied house in county Meath.
The dog had been forcibly taken from ten-year-old Nikita as he waited for his mother outside the supermarket.
Nikita's mum Natalja Onanko received the good news that Niki had been located in a phone call last Friday from Garda Jill Mangan at Trim Garda Station.
The 'dognapping' happened around 2.45 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, when Nikita was approached by a stranger who grabbed the pug and ran off in the direction of Killeen's Service Station.
A garda spokesperson from Meath said the theft was the subject of numerous appeals on social media throughout the week. As a result of this, Garda Mangan went to the shed of the vacant house and found Niki inside.
Natalja believes the thieves were too afraid to sell Niki because he is micro-chipped and would have been identified if scanned by a vet.
Natalja is now pleading with all dog owners to get their pets micro-chipped and registered, so that they can be traced if something like this happens again.
The family said they will be forever grateful to Garda Mangan for following up on all the calls and information given to the Gardaí in Meath. 'It is a miracle. It is hard to believe Niki was found 180 km away in Meath when we live in Wexford,' said Natalja.
Niki was a little bit skinny when found, but overall is in good health.
'When we told Nikita he cried and was so happy to be reunited with his puppy. At the moment he is afraid to go outside with him, so we keep Niki in,' said Natalja.
The Onanko family would like to thank all of the good people who helped, and the Gardaí in Trim.
A spokesperson for Gardaí in Meath said the investigation had resulted in two stolen dogs being recovered.
A French bulldog, which was stolen from Kildare in 2016, has also been reunited with its owners.