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tv   Bring Molly Home  BBC News  January 8, 2022 1:30pm-2:01pm GMT

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during the pandemic, thousands of dog thefts were reported across the uk and ireland. this is the story of molly, one of those stolen dogs, and the fight to bring her back home. glass smashes. laughter. are you good? i would actually rather know that she was dead than to imagine the sort of people that she is with right now. springer miniature, bitch, two—year—old labs. it's the smell that gets you first. and then hundreds of these eyes
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looking back at you. i have seen people taking photographs of dogs. - i guarantee that i can look on dog for sale pages- and see those pictures. only very small percentage of people are actually prosecuted for this. she still has love to give and still has faith in the human race. good girl! there we go. we haven't stopped fighting for even a single day, and we never will. are you good? one of my favourite things that
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i remember about molly is that she just had so much love inside herfor all of us. she is just so lovable and kind. the last photo that i took of molly, molly just sort of stood there behind the flowers. in those photos, she really looks like she's smiling. those were the last photos i took of her. the evening that molly was stolen, we had our back door open. the two dogs were outside, molly and millie. millie came back and there was no sign of molly. ten minutes passed, then 20 minutes, and i was still calling her, like, i was shouting at the top of my lungs at this point. there was just no sign, so we started to walk the roads and we also took the cars out, drove
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around locally up to the village. it was midnight, then, that mam rang the guards and she reported molly as missing. we suspected her as stolen. she possibly wasjust picked up. thrown in the boot, closed it down. she is in darkness from that point. then, when it opens up again, she has no idea where she is or who she's with. she is being handed over on a rope. her collar is we don't know where. it's been removed at that point. you feel sick and you panic. i said to my mam, i would actually rather know that she was dead than to imagine the sort of people
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she's with right now. you would rather go out onto your road and see that someone had knocked your dog down. you would rather know that they had lived their life and they had had the most amazing time with their family love them and adore them, and that, then they are gone. you know, you would rather know that. she sobs. something we have talked about quite a bit on this programme in recent weeks is the rise in dog theft during the pandemic. gangs are involved now. the prices of these animals have risen — £5000, £10,000 a time for a dog, the gangs are very violent. i have had constituents that have
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been knocked to the ground, beaten, stamped on their hands, threats to them, threats to their home, threats to their families. within less than 12 hours, we had pretty much an entire campaign going. by the following morning, we had created the first poster and we were going door—to—door as well and different places. that next day after molly was stolen, we created the actual bring molly home facebook page to post every day and make her too hot to handle, cos that is what everyone says to do. make her too hot to handle — someone will not buy her
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because they would be able to sell her if everyone knows she's a stolen dog. we miss you, molly, we miss you so very much. you are nothing short of the best, best girl and we love you. we hope you are ok for now. please don't forget us and never think we have given up on you. a week after molly was stolen, i received a message on the facebook page from a person who remains anonymous, who said, "can you ring me? "i know who stole your dog." we called the guards straightaway with that. the irish police. when we were given information about a certain location she had passed through... ..the next morning, the guards were at that property.
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the cctv, which has been watched by the guards, she is seen being passed on from one person to the next. within 12 hours of being stolen, she had been sold twice already. sirens wail.
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police! stay where you are! commotion. i have been working for about 25 years for law enforcement. we are taking this facial data, this tracking, this mesh of you in 3d and transmitting it over to our entirely new virtual avatar. both myself and other people connected to the investigation have received death threats, so it's important that we retain our anonymity for the protection of both our families and ourselves. demand for puppies
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went through the roof. the type of guys we are investigating began to look at any method they could for obtaining puppies. one of the easiest ways to obtain puppies quickly is to obtain a brooding age bitch, and the quickest way of doing that illicitly is to steal it. naturally, a dog will have one, possibly two litters a year. however, because of the demand, they need more litters a year. so they pump the animals full of hormones. it is literallyjust litter after litter after litter. it does terrible things to the animals in this process. all i saw in front of me was this pitiful broken dog.
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she smelt disgusting. she was covered in faeces, urine. she has a skin tumour on her side which was severely infected. i would say that she has definitely been used for breeding. which is what happens with so many of these poor bitches that are used for moneymaking machines. as she has obviously got stronger, her personality is coming out now. she still has love to give still has faith in the human race, which is even more heartbreaking, that we can use, abuse and then dump and they still forgive us, and they still want to love us. nobody is enforcing the laws that we have and the laws i that we have are so weak anyway. the police need too much notice, the authorities - need too much notice. nobody wants to know, - theyjust keep passing the buck. and somebody's got to stand up,
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take responsibility and do - something about it. barking. you will look at a map and work out the best way to get back— into that site safely. climb in through hedges, swimming across water, i whatever you have to do to locate those animals. j | usually your heart is in your mouth| because you have got to be so alert about what's going on. because at any minute, - you could be in a lot of danger. it's the smell it gets you first, i and then hundreds of these eyes looking back at you. some of the animals, - they are in a terrible state, | matted coats, you can hardly seej
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what breeds they are sometimes. when cages are on top of each other, | then the faeces and urine would dripl down from one cage into another cage. l some of them are sort of scrabbling at the cage and standing up - with their paws on the cage. some are whining, barking, | and then there's others that are just so traumatised that they are at - the back of the cage. they are terrified and they won't come near you. - so, usually, it will happenj in the middle of the night, and it's always terrifying because, are they going to bring the dog. or are they going to hit you over the head and take the money? i the owners are so petrified that you will get the police involved, because the first thing they say is if you bring the police down here, _ then we're going to kill your dog. you just wait and prayj
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that it all goes to plan and nobody gets hurt and that you get the dog back. i always say, take a slip lead - with you, throw the slip lead over the dog as quick as you can, give them the money- and just get out of there. i know people that have l remortgaged their houses and they have taken out loans. i can't tell you how it feels when it works. i you see the owner in floods of tears. | i am usually in floods of tears. it's amazing, but we shouldn't have to be doing that. - we received a further anonymous call with information that suggested that molly had been moved to the uk. i was just curious. ——furious. all the work that we had put in wasn't enough because it happens so fast.
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he runs r&r transport services and richie is responsible for transporting a number of animals across the irish sea illicitly.
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i have lived here for many years, i dread having to go that way. i have seen that lorry there on numerous occasions — for quite some time, he has been visiting that place. this one particular time, i happened to be driving past, there was a man and a lady. they had a cage, and in this cage, there was a pug and another dog, a terrier type, i think it was. and they took the cage to the jockey door and they were feeding the dogs into the lorry.
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a dog, who i believe was molly, was on the back of a car. the more i look at the picture of molly and the more i rememberthis dog, then i would say, yes, it was molly on the back of that car. i have seen dogs come out of there with awful wounds. i have seen a dog and she had cigarette burn scars all down her neck and down her back, she was in a really bad way. i have seen a dog come out of there where it's lost the top of its tail and there was blood coming out of it. i have seen many, many dogs coming out of there, bitches where their teats are dragging on the floor, where they have been bred and bred and bred. it really breaks your heart. nobody wants to see that, nobody wants to witness it.
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however, it is thrust in your face because nobody is doing anything about it. i have seen people taking photographs of dogs. i guarantee that i can look on dog for sale pages and see those pictures. the guard contacted the uk police in the area with what info they had, it wasn't enough to search any property at that time. nothing came from that and we were lost from that point. sirens wailing.
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the reality is, you can watch these crimes happening from your own bedroom. springer miniature, bitch, two—year—old labs... i have seen videos of multiple men auctioning a dog and she is sitting in the middle of it. what you reckon of her, boys? and they shining torches on her, flashing them over her eyes and making her pitch for her sale, and it's reallyjust horrendous. there's numerous facebook groups which are solely used for buying and selling dogs. any registered or licensed breeder would not be selling on facebook. these groups are ongoing continuously and there's nobody monitoring them.
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the magnitude isjust massive. every time i log in online, there's more posts. we often see, as well, comments from people who say, "i check molly's page every single dayjust to see if she is home. "i've never cried so much over a dog that i've never met. "i hope you get her home soon." molly's story has just grown so big
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that i don't know what's going to happen when we finally get to tell you that she's back. i think it'sjust going to be insane. if people want to come and meet her, will have to do a kind of drive—by meet and greet molly at the gate, i think. it was actually one of the girls who is on our molly team, she was looking on websites to see if she could find different stolen dogs. that's how it often happens, they are spotted in ads for sale. since december 2019, i would estimate i have looked at between 10,000 to 20,000 adverts. the adverts have been designed and have been engineered to tug at your heart strings and from the very first sentence, it evokes an image of a wholesome pet. animals that are well looked after, but behind that, when you scratch the surface, there is an illegal and illicit trade.
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the amounts of money involved in this are eye watering. the rewards you can get from a litter of puppies run on average between £20,000 to £30,000 a litter. if you are prosecuted for breeding illicitly, then you are likely to get a very low level fine. so we are looking at between £500 to £750, and of course only a very small percentage of people are actually prosecuted for this.
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very few people are caught for stealing dogs, and then very few people are charged, and when they are charged, they get very minimal sentencing. good boy. rupert, my chocolate labrador, if he were stolen, he would be treated in much the same way as a laptop. an object which has been taken. the fact that they are sentient, the fact they are companions, that they are family members is not taken into consideration whatsoever. it needs to be taken more seriously by the police, it needs to be taken more seriously by the courts, and it needs to be taken more seriously by the politicians
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who have the opportunity to change the laws. it is literally pandora's box and we have only scratched the surface. i think the pandemic may be exacerbated it, but prior to that, they had already secured their marketplace. the people we are dealing with are highly organised and hyper mobile. there needs to be far more investigators looking at this, there needs to be more interaction between the agencies, and until we do that, this problem is not going to go away. so, yeah, i don't know how i feel about it. we still are without molly, so, to be honest, all we really care about is getting her home. i wouldn't say that isjustice, you know. this is the victim impact statement that i had written
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to be read in court. "molly's that has affected each of us in different ways from anxiety "and paranoia to sleep deprivation, recurring nightmares and, "most of all, grief. "we have had our hopes raised up and then shattered on more than one "occasion by people who have falsely claimed to have molly. "we have had countless sleepless nights due to regular intrusive "thoughts about the conditions molly might be kept in it now. "when we finally do get to sleep, nightmares ensue. "these are mainly dreams in which we eventually find molly... she sobs. "..only to be jolted awake with the dreadful reminder that this "is really not the case. "she is still missing."
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millie, molly! say hi! are you having a great time? good girl. millie, are you having a nice time? i actually had a dream last night. i remember, in the dream, being with molly and i think i brought her to meet my mother. mam hadn't seen her yet, that she was back. she was saying, "it's not real." and i said, "no, it's definitely real. "it's way more real than the dreams
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where i feel like she's home." and then i woke up and i was like, "here we go again." molly, you're getting all the pets. all the petty pats. oh, molly! oh, molly. good afternoon. it looks likely that the weekend is going to shape up to be a tale of two halves. what a miserable start it has been, with some rain, some of it heavy, and some blustery winds steadily sweeping their way eastwards.
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we will start to see an improvement this afternoon, the wind directions sweeping back round to a north—westerly, making it feel just that bit cooler. but the rain was quite extensive first thing. into the afternoon, some sunny spells and scattered showers. some of these showers could be quite hefty from time to time, but hopefully with a little bit of brightness mixed in there as well. perhaps east anglia and south—east england staying wet until the end of the afternoon. the winds will remain a feature, those temperatures still a little subdued. we're not going to see double figures by the middle of the afternoon, i suspect those temperatures are going to widely be sitting around 3—9 degrees. now, as we go through the evening, the rain will clear away, but we will keep some showers going into the far north and west, some of these heavy, and as the temperatures fall away in scotland, some of them a little wintry to the tops of higher ground. sheltered eastern areas should keep some clearer skies and here we will see those temperatures falling away, so it is going to be a chilly start to our sunday morning,
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but hopefully, to compensate, a dry, settled and sunny one. so these are the temperatures first thing to greet us, perhaps a bit milder out to the west. but the best of the sunshine certainly into the east, where we've seen that heavy and persistent rain through the afternoon. the showers continue to pile into the far north and west, spilling down across the lake district to the east of the pennines and there may be some rain by the end of the afternoon into the south—west. top temperatures through sunday afternoon 5—7 degrees in the north, maybe as high as 9 or 10 further south across england and wales. now, as we go into monday, we've still got these weather fronts and still pretty windy in scotland, but high pressure is starting to build in from the south and it will really drive the story as we go through the week ahead. so, monday will start off pretty cloudy with some wet and windy weather, particularly into the western fringes of scotland and northern ireland. top temperatures generally between around 7 and 11 degrees, which is where they should be for the time of year, but as the high pressure builds, it will keep things relatively quiet, but we
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could have a problem with early morning dense fog and if that lingers, from time to time, the temperatures may well just struggle. but certainly a lot more dry weather to look out for. take care.
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