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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Stray pooch found in Ballymena was stolen in Scotland last year

Nigel Devine, dog warden at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, with little dog Izzy.

Nigel Devine, dog warden at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, with little Issy.

A stray dog picked up by Council officers in Ballymena has been safely returned to its overjoyed owner – one year after it was stolen in Scotland.

Last week Enforcement Officers at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council were alerted to a stray dog in the Doury Road area of the town.

On scanning the dog’s microchip, the officers realised that little Issy, along with her brother Diego, had been reported stolen last year.

In May 2022, the then four-month-old pups were taken from their front garden in Glasgow, leaving their beloved owner devastated.

Having given up hope of ever seeing her cherished pets again, Isabella Roden was stunned to receive a call from Council’s Nigel Devine telling her little Issy was safe and well – albeit she was 140 miles from home, in Northern Ireland. Nigel had been able to source Isabella’s contact details from Issy’s microchip.

Nigel Devine with stolen dog and P&O Ferried staff departing for Scotland.

Dog lover Isabella said:

“Receiving the phone call from Nigel was incredible and I could not quite believe it.

“Since then I have done nothing but think of my Issy coming home. Seeing the photos of her that Nigel sent has put my emotions all over the place and I still have hope that Issy’s brother Diego may also one day be returned to me. I am so grateful to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for their vigilance.”

With the assistance of P&O Ferries, Nigel travelled to Scotland on Saturday to personally reunite Issy with Isabella. He said:

“I was delighted to be able to bring Issy back home to Isabella who was just so amazed and thankful to get her wee dog back after all this time.

“It is unbelievable that a wee stray found in Ballymena had been taken from Scotland but it just shows how important it is to microchip pets and to report it immediately should they be lost or stolen.

“I’m determined to do my best to track down Diego next and hopefully get him back to Isabella too.”

Dog sitting on groomer’s bench.

Prior to setting sail for Scotland, Issy was treated to a free pampering session by local dog groomer Christine Higgins of G8way Grooms, so she was looking her best heading home.

Nigel urged all dog owners to ensure both their dog licence and microchip details are up to date and that in the event of their family pet being stolen, they report the theft to local police and the microchip company.

Reunion video: BBC Scotland.

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