A pair of ‘dognappers’ got more than they bargained for when they attempted to snatch a pup from a former amateur boxer.
Pub landlord James Cosens laid one of the men out when his pooch was snatched on the Millennium Coastal Path near Llanelli, Wales.
He was taking his 20-week-old dog Rosie out for a walk last Friday when the attempted theft occurred.
The 29-year-old was by the Morfa Berwig Nature Reserve near Bynea when one of them grabbed Rosie.
The former light-heavyweight amateur fighter was told he would be stabbed if he tried to take the dog back.
But James, who moved to the area with his wife and young son last August, put his boxing skills to good use and managed to rescue Rosie.
“Even when he picked Rosie up, I didn’t really think too much of it because of the good natures of everyone we’ve met in the local area,” James said.
But he added that once the man told him, ‘if you attempt to get your dog back I will stab you’, the alarm bells were “obviously ringing!”
“I was of course scared, it felt like these guys had nothing to lose, attempting this at 1.30pm when there could potentially be many other walkers out and about to witness,” he continued.
“Fight and flight is a saying that gets thrown around pretty frequently, and I wanted to pick the flight option, but it wasn’t an option without my dog.
“In order to get away safely the only thing I felt I could do is hit first to try and have the element of surprise.
“The first punch I threw managed to floor the man holding Rosie, but he still had a tight grip on her so the altercation moved onto the floor.
“He continued to struggle so I punched him twice more and managed to pull my dog out of his arms.
“During this his friend hit me four or five times from behind, but I managed to stand up, grab the dog and start making my getaway.
“Luckily for me and Rosie the guy that initially grabbed her was a little worse for wear and this ensured that we could move swiftly in the opposite direction”.
Dyfed Powys Police is said to be investigating the “extremely rare” incident.
James added: “I think they’re probably more used to targeting the vulnerable – the elderly, children maybe.
“But they saw a young pup and thought it’s worth the risk to have a go and take her.”
Police said one of the men seemed to be in his 40s, around 6ft tall, of stocky build, and wearing light blue jeans and a dark puffer jacket.
The other is in his 20s, around 5ft 6in tall, and wearing similar clothing.
Inspector Shaun Bowen, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “We are aware that news of this incident is causing a high level of concern among dog owners in Llanelli and the surrounding area, some of whom are now fearful of walking their pets.
“The incident in Bynea is at present isolated in terms of an individual being targeted while walking their dog, and we have received no further reports.
“We urge people to continue to take their usual safety measures while not reacting out of fear, but please do report any incidents or suspicious behaviour to us.”
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