FIVE Ballarat children were left heartbroken when their Christmas present – a puppy called Poppy – was stolen from under their noses by a brazen thief.
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When Jackie Cherry and son Oscar, 9, watched video footage of a cruel thief stealing taking Poppy from their family home on Wednesday, Oscar had one heartbreaking question.
“Mummy, do they take children too?”
The family of seven are devastated by the actions of the thief that has left them facing life without their eighth family member – pure bred American Staffordshire puppy Poppy.
Poppy was a Christmas present for the five Cherry boys and the family’s first pet. Ms Cherry and husband David gave their children beloved Poppy at a very hard time for the family.
“We lost my dad in November,” a tearful Ms Cherry said.
“We called her Poppy after Dad, because the kids called him poppy.”
Anton, 11, Oscar, 9, Damon, 6, Jonah and Devon, both four, love snuggling up on the couch with Poppy.
“They love laying with her on the couch, watching television. They just love her.
“She’d come inside cuddle up and sleep on the beanbag and sometimes jump on the beds.”
The family, who are currently renovating, had just gone to the park before 5.30pm on Wednesday when Poppy was taken at 5.49pm.
“We bought a big old house when the twins were born to make it our long-term family home,” Ms Cherry said.
“We had tradies coming and going, so Poppy was in our front yard. We had cameras up and my husband had come home and parked out the back. He was admiring the lattice work.”
At that exact moment CCTV captured a man pull up to the property in a dark coloured car.
“He gets out and walks around. He walked up to the gate and puts his hand through the fence,” Ms Cherry said.
“He touches Poppy and maybe looks at her pretty pink collar with her name.” The footage shows the man leaving the property only to come back minutes later.
“He literally opens the gate, caught her eye and takes her.”
Mr Cherry rang Ms Cherry to let her know Poppy was missing.
“We ran home, raced around … we looked at the camera,” Ms Cherry said.
“I wish my children hadn’t seen the footage. I just want to try and mend their sense of humanity and am hoping someone who knows anything can come forward.”
The family is offering a reward to anyone who has any information.
“Poppy cost a fortune, because we didn’t want a sick dog. We wanted a life-long pet.”
Oscar has pleaded for the person responsible to return his puppy.
“It’s terrible that someone can go into our front yard and take our puppy away,” the nine-year-old said.
“She plays soccer with us and I miss her lots. We are very sad.”
If you have any information please call Ballarat police on 5336 6000.
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