A devastated pet owner is begging for help after the man she employed as a dog -sitter refused to return her beloved pooch.
Carmen Pham says the man “went into hiding” with her purebred Corgi called Haku.
He has since emailed her telling her about the special bond he has built with her dog, leaving her in tears.
She left the four-year-old with the man and his girlfriend in July.
A post on a stolen and missing pets Facebook page said: “After he was requested by the legal owners to return her to them he went into hiding.
“Haku has been seen in the possession of the man’s girlfriend. Pictures of Haku have been posted on the girlfriend’s business Instagram page even though the girlfriend has denied any knowledge of knowing Haku to the police.”
Carmen has reported the theft to police in Queensland, Australia.
She and her family returned home from overseas earlier this year during the coronavirus lockdown.
She told Nine News the man “seemed to be a very nice guy” and she “trusted him, 100 per cent”
Carmen added: “I just feel like they just play with my sympathy.
“You need to return my Haku. I can’t take it anymore, it’s taking so much toll on me.”
But the man emailed her saying: “Haku and I have grown together” and spoke of the “love and affection” they now share.
The email went on: “The best option for Haku is me to take ownership and if it is about the $$$, I will pay you the $2400 you paid.”
A Queensland Police spokeswoman said: “Police have received a complaint and investigations are ongoing.”
It comes after a British family who lost their dog during a holiday extended their stay and hired a pet detective.
Fifteen-year-old mongrel Spillo disappeared after running into a field from the driveway of a holiday cottage.
Laura Bierer-Nielsen, 23, and her parents Henrik and Sharon, fear he has been stolen.
Laura, a student at the London School of Economics, said: “I’m not exaggerating when I say he has gone off the face of the Earth. The notion of him walking too far for us to find him is nigh on impossible, considering his age and he’s got very bad arthritis. He struggles to walk.
“Him being picked up on the end of the driveway is our number one possibility.
“We have a pet detective who is going down every avenue. We’re now staying in rooms at the back of a pub. We’ve almost relocated down here.
“It’s demoralising day in, day out, but we are not leaving until we find out what’s happened to him.
“It’s ripped my mum and dad’s heart apart and they really aren’t coping.”
The family, holidaying in Midhurst, West Sussex, extended their stay to a month.