On 17 August 2021, Lolita Muller from Rocklands Mitchells Plan had to make a heartbreaking decision to surrender her two dogs – Ben, a magnificent long-haired German Shepherd and Cardi, a docile Pitbull Cross.
Lolita had fallen upon hard times and had to move to an area where she feared for their safety, and both dogs were in great condition and well-behaved, so it wasn’t long before both were adopted.
Ben was adopted by Carole and Marlon Mitchell from Grassy Park on 12 September 2021 and on Saturday, 15 January, Ben went missing from the Mitchell’s home.
Initially, it was thought that someone may have accidentally left the gate open and that Ben had wandered off, but it soon became apparent that he had been stolen.
The family immediately took to social media and as soon as the Animal Welfare Society of SA became aware of Ben’s disappearance, they posted a Lost Notice on Facebook and several WhatsApp Groups.
Messages poured in and it was soon confirmed that Ben was in Ocean View. The first report of his whereabouts took the form of an opportunistic ransom demand from an alleged Ocean View gangster who demanded R250 in exchange for information leading to Ben’s return.
His report was soon followed by a call from a lady, also from Ocean View, who claimed to have Ben. She alleged that while en route to visit family in Grassy Park, she noticed a suspicious-looking adult male walking a somewhat regal looking, but reluctant Ben, so she decided to stop and ask him for the dog, which he reportedly willingly handed over to her.
“As soon as we were alerted to the possible whereabouts of Ben, his imminent return and the alleged extortionist’s claim, we contacted the Grassy Park SAPS and made arrangements for them to accompany us to the Mitchell’s residence to await his return. On Monday, 17 January (roughly 48 hours after his disappearance) the “stranger” from Ocean View known only as Zulpha returned Ben – unharmed”, says the Animal Welfare Society of SA.
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