Queensland police are closing in on an elderly alleged dognapper who refused to give back an adorable corgi after pet-sitting her.
Gold Coast mother Carmen Pham and her family had to go to Vietnam in a hurry a few months ago, leaving their four-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi ‘Haku’ with an elderly couple who were family friends.
However when Ms Pham returned and asked for her dog back, the elderly couple asked to keep her for company during the coronavirus lockdown.
Carmen Pham with her adorable corgi Haku. Ms Pham is missing her pet very much
Kirilly Cull (left), from the Missing & Stolen Pets QLD Facebook page with Ms Pham (right). Ms Cull said the dog is microchipped and registered to Ms Pham as the owner and sternly told the dog-borrower to hand back the ‘stolen’ pet
Ms Pham let them keep Haku for a while, however when the lockdown lifted and she asked for her dog back, they refused.
In July, they disappeared and Ms Pham went to the police.
Ms Pham then found out that the couple had separated and the husband had taken Haku with him, leaving the worried mum with no idea how to get her back.
There is now hope that Carmen will be reunited with Haku as police have made a breakthrough in the investigation.
‘After spending the afternoon with Southport Police, the investigation into Haku’s theft has progressed,’ Carmen’s family said in a statement on Facebook on Saturday.
‘We look forward to being reunited with Haku very soon.
‘We thank everyone for their support.’
Ms Pham told Daily Mail Australia on Monday that she had her fingers crossed that the elderly man would soon return her dog.
‘I’ll just try to be positive and await for Haku to be returned,’ she said.
Haku the four-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi disappeared along with an elderly family friend who was her pet-sitter during the pandemic lockdown, leaving Carmen Pham in tears
Haku with Carmen Pham and her family at Christmas
Carmen Pham’s heart was broken after Haku disappeared.
Ms Pham said she had trusted the elderly man who was a friend of the family and always seemed kind.
But when Carmen started asking for her dog back, he would not return her.
‘After the lockdown I did approach and said: ‘hey maybe you should get my dog back, it’s after lockdown’,’ Ms Pham told Nine News Queensland.
When she persisted, the man allegedly told Carmen he wanted to keep Haku – and then disappeared with the dog.
Carmen Pham at Southport Police station on Saturday. The family said in a statement that the investigation has made progress and they hope to be reunited with Haku soon
On Facebook, Carmen said he had left his residential address in Labrador on the Gold Coast, in July.
‘(He) was found in Chevron Island last week but has now gone into hiding again,’ she wrote.
Distraught, Ms Pham told Nine News that she felt he had played on her sympathy.
‘You need to return my Haku – I can’t take it anymore it’s taking so much toll on me,’ she said.
Haku, who Carmen affectionately calls ‘my little fatty’, went missing in July, and is microchipped and registered to Ms Pham as the owner.
On Facebook, Carmen told a friend how she had feared for her dog.
The post that went viral on Facebook, being shared more than 745 times in just three days
‘He’s on the run now with Haku too. So I’m also worried for her safety,’ she wrote.
Ms Pham posted a plea for her dog’s return on the Missing & Stolen Pets QLD Facebook page last Thursday night and it was quickly shared more than 745 times by outraged pet-lovers.
Kirilly Cull, from the Missing & Stolen Pets QLD Facebook page, said the police had found the person who ‘stole Haku’.
‘He has now gone into hiding,’ she said.
The man who took Haku told Nine News he did not steal the dog, he thought she had been left with him permanently.
However Missing & Stolen Pets page administrators wrote on Friday that they had copies of all conversations between the ‘persons of interest’ and the legal owners as well as a copy of the police report.
‘Hand Haku into a vet, pound or police. Keeping an animal that is legally not yours is deemed under Australian law ‘theft of property’,’ they wrote, but all in capital letters.
Pictures of Haku have also been posted to the Instagram page of the dog-napper’s new girlfriend, the Missing & Stolen Pets QLD Facebook Page reported on Saturday.