Rescued from pup-nappers: The dog named Cat is back

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Rescued from pup-nappers: The dog named Cat is back

Katjie, the German Shepherd, was rescued after being dragged over an electric fence and stolen from her family

Journalist

It was a local ward councillor who emerged as the hero three days after a thief dragged a puppy over a family’s electric fence and fled with the German Shepherd.
The dog-napping case was an emotional ordeal for the Erasmus family from Worcester‚ about 120 kilometres from Cape Town, and CCTV footage of the incident shared on social media sparked a massive search.It started when Lica Erasmus arrived home after a business meeting last Monday and immediately noticed there was no familiar sound of paws running up to greet her.  A search of the house yielded no sign of the dog, Katjie. CCTV footage captured on the property showed how a man had loitered near the fence for an hour after she had left home, coaxing the dog to come. When it did, he pulled it over the fence by its front legs and ran off.
Enter Juven von Willingh, a ward councillor from the Breede Valley Municipality, who saw pictures of the missing dog on social media. He heard about the distraught owners. “I was contacted by my colleagues … and  asked that I ask around in the area about the German Shepard puppy that was stolen,” he said. He put the word out on the street and within three days was told that a matching dog had been spotted in De Doorns, an informal settlement about 30 kilometres away from the Erasmus home.“I went to investigate at the house in question but when I got there the people told me that the dog wasn’t there. I couldn’t just barge in. Luckily one of the children living there admitted that the dog was in fact in the house and he ran inside, grabbed the dog and brought it out,” he said.
Von Willingh got in touch with the owners.
Erasmus was overcome with emotion when she was finally reunited with her dog. Since her return home, Katjie has barely let Erasmus out of her sight.“She follows me around everywhere. She sits near me when I work on my computer. She drives around everywhere with us. When my children shower she stands next to the bath and licks their feet dry. She is really part of the family. That is why the past few days have been a nightmare for all of us,” said Erasmus. 
Erasmus was concerned that the puppy would be sold on the street.
Katjie will take time to settle down. On her first night home she looked panicked when the children made a noise.

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