DISTRAUGHT dog owner Michele Smith is appealing for information on the whereabouts of Theo, a five-month-old puppy stolen from her on a walk last week.

The 50-year-old, of Home Farm in Highworth, was walking Theo in the field adjacent to Pentylands Lane last Wednesday, when three people approached her.

Whilet two men spoke with her, Theo was left to play with the third stranger’s dog behind Michele’s back.

In the minutes which followed, Michele said she became so involved in conversation with the two men she lost track of the female stranger’s movements. When she looked around Theo, the woman and her dog were gone.

“I’m very surprised by what happened,” said Michele. “I’m usually more on the ball than that. I actually thought they were very doggy people.

“They were asking me so many questions I was just into that conversation. I hadn’t noticed they had moved me around with my back on Theo. I only realised how they had moved me until I got home.

“I asked them where the woman had gone and they said she had just gone home. They didn’t help me, they just walked out the field too.

“I was left there screaming for my dog. I felt bad and guilty. I should’ve looked down and noticed – it’s breaking me in two.”

The female is described as white, in her early twenties, with curly, ginger, shoulder-length hair and a tan jacket.

The males are white and in their early twenties too. One had short, brown hair, a dark quilted jacket and jeans.

The other wore a grey hoody with blue jeans, but had a shaven head. One male spoke with a local accent and the other with what Michele describes as an east European accent.

Michele has been in touch with the police, but doesn’t know why the dog would have been taken.

Friends have suggested that Theo might be used for breeding purposes.

Police are also working with the Lost Dogs website to track down the whereabouts of Theo.

Michele said the puppy is micro-chipped and will show up at any vets as stolen if he is treated.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Michele on 07922 727203, or visit the Facebook group created for the pursuit – Finding Theo.