Taranaki family pleads for safe return of pregnant pet dog due to give birth next week

A Taranaki family is calling for the safe return of their pregnant pet dog has taken their plea to national television.

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Pippa’s family believe she's been snatched because it's a breed of dog whose puppies are extremely valuable and she is expecting a litter any day. Source: Seven Sharp

Pippa the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who's due to give birth next week, was adopted when Margaret Joyce's sister Katie died three years ago.

"Pippa helped with our healing and she just has become a big part of the family," Joyce told Seven Sharp.

Camera footage captured outside the family's rural Omata property shows a car stopping at around 9.15pm on Monday night. Pippa had been outside at the time for a toilet stop when she suddenly vanished.

"We've had a really tough week since Easter Monday night when Pippa disappeared," she said.

"We initially thought she would be somewhere around the farm. We searched everywhere but then we looked at some camera footage and Monday night, we can see a car that stopped at the end of our driveway, looks like a door opened and Pippa's been missing since that point so we're all a bit flat."

Joyce says the family "do get the feeling that somebody may have known through word of mouth that she was pregnant".

"We're just really disappointed because if we were lucky enough to get two or three puppies, there were homes for them already so they were never going to go up for sale."

She says the matter has been reported to the police, who got back to the family immediately but "we were just hoping that there would be ears to the ground if in eight weeks' time, some puppies turn up on TradeMe or on some other social media for sale".

Joyce says her daughter Holly has been "struggling to sleep this week, we've also had her home from school on Wednesday".

"We just really want Pippa back safe."

The family is offering a $2500 reward for Pippa's safe return, no questions asked.