Dog pepper sprayed by burglars

PUBLISHED: 16:51 12 January 2011

Amanda Smith, of Lower Stondon with her dog Maisy. The family home was burgled and the invaders sprayed Maisy in the eyes with pepper spray.

Amanda Smith, of Lower Stondon with her dog Maisy. The family home was burgled and the invaders sprayed Maisy in the eyes with pepper spray.

Daniel Wilson

BURGLARS ‘pepper sprayed’ a family pet and stole thousands of pounds worth of china in a Mid Beds raid last week, one day after the home owners returned from holiday.

Married couple Tim, 43, and Amanda Smith, had just returned from a week-long trip to Florida, and were settling back into life in Lower Stondon, with their four dogs and son Ben, 21, when burglars targeted their empty Station Road home last Thursday.

The raiders stole a large amount of Royal Crown Derby china, taken away in the Smiths’ suitcases, as well as jewellery and picture frames.

Mrs Smith says the intruders were caught on CCTV spraying Maisy, a five-year-old Bichon Frise, in the eyes with an irritant. The 44-year-old said: “I had just been down the shop and came back and noticed my bedroom door was open.

“There was an empty shoe box and a baseball bat in the hallway - I just screamed. I was just shaking so much, and I was panicking. ”

No-one knew what had happened to Maisy until hours later.

Mrs Smith said: “They are our babies and they all sleep in a cage in the kitchen.

“I noticed Maisy’s eyes were bulging out of her head and I screamed ‘they have done something to the dog’.”

Maisy was rushed to Gatehouse Veterinary Surgery, Baldock, who say that the dog had been sprayed with “a caustic substance”.

Veterinary surgeon Jennifer Thomas said it was the first time in 27 years of practice that she has come across anything like this.

Mrs Smith says Maisy appears to be recovering well but may need specialised eye treatment.

A spokesman for the RSPCA, said: “This poor dog would have suffered tremendously as a result of the incident. We are just pleased to know that it now appears to be making a good recovery.

“While incidents like this do appear to be rare, it is very concerning that an animal has been treated in this way. As this will be an active police investigation it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment.”

Bedfordshire Police are currently investigating the burglary and say the raiders gained access to the property through the garden and smashed through the rear door to get access to the house.

Detective Sergeant Sean Quinn, investigating, said: “The victims are clearly upset by what has happened and we are asking for anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward.

“Do you remember seeing anyone in the area prior to the offence, or do you remember seeing anyone carrying suitcases away from the area?

“We would also like to hear from anyone who may have been offered the china for sale.”

Anyone with information can contact DS Quinn in confidence on 01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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