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Chef ‘bawled his eyes out’ after beloved labrador snatched while he was in Tesco
August 11, 2021
A Belfast chef was reduced to tears when he popped into Tesco and came back out to find that someone had snatched his beloved labrador.
Paul Scott tied Franklin Rufus Beans up outside the supermarket but he was taken by a man that was later seen on CCTV walking with the dog.
Paul said he was "frantic" and quickly called his local vet to see if the dog, who is chipped, could be tracked. But he was told the chip is not a GPS, Belfast Live reported.
“I ran back down to the shop and was in tears calling out to everyone to see if they’d seen Franklin," he said.
“The security guard came to help me and we were both running up and down the place, it was raining really hard, I was bawling my eyes out.
"Someone had taken my friend and I really didn’t know where to start looking for him.”
The power of social media meant that the 41-year-old was only separate from his beloved friend for six hours.
Paul made an appeal on Facebook alongside CCTV footage that was made available to him.
It showed a man walking on Antrim Road with Franklin’s lead in his hand and the dog walking beside him.
Paul said: “I couldn’t believe it. Franklin hadn’t wandered off, he’d been taken by a complete stranger. Now I was even more scared. What did he want Franklin for? Would he try and harm him? Where was he? How was I going to get him back?
The chef recently moved from Chicago with the dog, who he's had since it was ix weeks old, to be closer to his mother during the pandemic.
After posting his plea, he said: “My Facebook post was being shared and shared and people kept telling me the social media would make Franklin too hot to handle – but I was so worried.
"Then I started worrying about him being dumped somewhere strange and never finding him again."
But just as suddenly as he vanished, Franklin was returned to Paul thanks to a stranger's kindness and bravery.
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He said: “Exactly six hours after he was snatched, he was back with me. A man who’d seen the social media recognised him outside a house about three streets away from where I live.
"He managed to grab Franklin from another man and made contact with me.
"Franklin’s collar and lead were missing but he was uninjured and seemed OK.
"Those six hours were hell. Franklin places his trust in me every day and I do everything I can to make his life a good and happy one.
"A few days on I’m still shaken by the events and Franklin is a bit wary of people coming up to him and I guess he could be feeding off my anxiety about the whole thing."
Paul called the whole ordeal a "horrible lessen learned."