A Waikato woman says dog owners in the area should be vigilant after her security camera appeared to catch an attempted dog abduction on her property yesterday.
The incident took place about 2.43pm in Te Awamutu, and owner Sarah McLachlan was at work at the time.
Ms McLachlan has a security camera sitting on a windowsill overlooking her back yard, which shares a fence with a local park.
Footage from the camera shows one of her large, 60 kilogram dog kennels - with her staffordshire terrier Layla inside - seemingly moving by itself.
She later began to suspect someone had seen her dogs from over the fence - as well as the camera - and had attempted to drag the kennel out of the camera's view in order to steal her dog.
Layla is a sweet and domesticated dog, she said, who would "go with anyone".
A friend of hers had been at the house earlier, and returned to the property around that time, which may have interrupted the thief.
Layla remains safe at home, and Ms McLachlan said she would be moving her kennels and re-positioning the camera to make it impossible for a thief to get to them without being seen.
She said friends had told her houses were sometimes "marked" with spraypaint signs on the road to indicate there was a dog there worth stealing, and she was going to take a look around her property for anything out of place.
The incident has been reported to police, and a spokesperson said that "we certainly encourage people to be extra vigilant around the safety and security of their pets - both because of their personal value to the owner and wider family; but also the monetary value as pure bred pets in particular can be expensive, and therefore of interest to thieves.
"We don't have any information to suggest this is a trend, but remind people to keep their eyes and ears open for any suspicious activity and contact Police if necessary."
The incident took place just a couple of towns over from another suspected abduction incident earlier this year where a dog was taken and had its mouth taped shut near Matamata in July.
On that occasion, the family were horrified, and believe their dog Rock had been captured and baited to other dogs before managing to break free and escape.
After posting a warning online, Rock's owner said she had been messaged by someone who had a similar thing happen to their own dog in nearby Putaruru.