Farming couple speak out after dog ‘theft’ in Challacombe

Skip has been missing from Brocken Barrow Farm in Challacombe since March 23.

Skip has been missing from Brocken Barrow Farm in Challacombe since March 23. - Credit: Archant

Challacombe couple believe their young collie dog, Skip, was stolen from their farm after he vanished without a trace.

A COUPLE from Challacombe fear their dog has been stolen after he vanished without a trace from their farm last month.

Melanie Tucker came forward after reading on the Gazette website yesterday (Mon) how Newton Tracey mum-of-four Charmaine Speed feared her dogs had been targeted.

The story, in which Mrs Speed said she believed her house had been ‘tagged’ by three strangers, sparked interest from readers who had heard of similar scenarios nationwide.

Mrs Tucker, who runs Brockenbarrow Farm in Challacombe with her husband Colin, said she echoed Mrs Speed’s concerns and wanted to urge the farming community to remain vigilant.


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She has spent weeks searching for her three-year-old collie, who was one of four working dogs on the farm, after he disappeared on the evening of March 23.

“It was about 8pm, my husband called the dogs out of the window and we thought we heard a car drive off,” said Mrs Tucker.

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“About half an hour later we called the dogs again but Skip wasn’t there.

“We searched everywhere; the next day we even searched the hedgerows from our farm all the way to Simonsbath but we found nothing.

“We know our dogs like the back of our hand and there is absolutely no way Skip would have run away; he was inseparable from my husband.”

Mrs Tucker said not only had she lost a much loved animal, but also a valuable asset to her farming business.

“As farmers we need our dogs; they may be working dogs but it doesn’t mean we love them any less than a family loves a pet,” said Mrs Tucker.

The couple reported Skips’ disappearance to the police but Mrs Tucker said she had been disappointed with the lack of action.

“I feel they are being extremely blasé about it, but at this time of year our dogs are out working all day and farmers need to be aware.

“I just hope we can spread awareness and help prevent other people becoming victims as well.”

Mr and Mrs Tucker are offering a reward for the return of Skip or any information that leads to his return.

Anyone who has seen the young collie can contact the Police on non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference CL/12/23 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

To read Charmaine Speed’s story, which sparked Mrs Tucker to contact the Gazette, click the link in the top right of the page.

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