It's school holidays, nearly Christmas and a bright sunny day - but the usual happy chaos in the Chrisohoou family is missing.

Every member of the family is teary-eyed and tired from worry after their adored family pet was suspected stolen from their Edmund Rd home on Sunday morning.

Jacob and Alicia Chrisohoou are registered dog breeders with Dogs New Zealand and they have been left distraught after their 2-year-old microchipped male grey pedigree American Staffordshire terrier disappeared.

The Chrisohoou family just want their dog back. Picture from left are Tiana, 7, Kaia, 5, father Jacob, Amara, 11, mother Alicia and Lydia, 1. Photo / Ben Fraser
The Chrisohoou family just want their dog back. Picture from left are Tiana, 7, Kaia, 5, father Jacob, Amara, 11, mother Alicia and Lydia, 1. Photo / Ben Fraser

The Rotorua Lakes Council has confirmed there have been 10 reports of suspected stolen dogs in the city this year and police have confirmed the missing dog has been reported to police.


While the family were out on Sunday, the dog went missing. They say it is incredibly unlikely the dog got out or was accidentally let out.

Witnesses had come forward saying they had seen a dog fitting the description with someone on the clubroom side of Linton Park.

Have you seen the Chrisohoou's dog? Photo / Supplied
Have you seen the Chrisohoou's dog? Photo / Supplied

Jacob Chrisohoou said it was their worst fear the dog had been stolen and was now not being cared for properly.

Jacob said the dog, which they have not publicly named, was very loving and was raised like a member of their family with lots of cuddles.

"The best-case scenario is that we get him back and he is not harmed. The what ifs and the possibilities, just knowing that he is safe and he is getting fed ... that's what gets to me."

Eldest daughter Amara, 11, said she was "hysterical" when she and her three sisters - Taiana, 7, Kaia, 5, and Lydia, 1, realised the dog was gone.

"I loved his excitement, his energy and his love for us," Amara said.

A dog suspected stolen from an Edmund Rd house has a distinctive bent tail. Photo / Supplied
A dog suspected stolen from an Edmund Rd house has a distinctive bent tail. Photo / Supplied

Alicia said he had a distinctive bent tail, full white chest and white socks.


Jacob said while there was a negative public perception about the dog breed, those involved in legitimate breeding or those who genuinely loved dogs understood how loving they could be.

"It's something we have had to endure even just walking them ... I am a firm believer of nurture over nature and that is the belief with the way you raise the dogs. These dogs get a bad rap but we have four children and they mean the world to us."

Rotorua police area prevention manager Inspector Brendon Keenan said the missing dog had been reported.

Owners who have concerns about the safety of their pets should ensure their properties are secure, especially if they have animals that spend most of their time indoors, he said.

"Think about keeping kennels or tied-up animals out of sight from the road and using sensor lights or CCTV if possible."

Keenan said it was also important to note down the registration of any suspicious vehicles as potential burglars did sometimes scope out properties beforehand.

"It's about being a good neighbour and taking note of any unusual people or activity in your street. If you see a crime being committed or you are concerned for the immediate safety of people or property, call 111 immediately."

Council animal control team leader Dylan Wright said reports of lost dogs was one of the common animal control-related calls for the team on a daily basis.

"Quite often people who suspected their dogs have been stolen will find that their dogs have either gotten out of their property or been accidentally let out by someone visiting the house."

He said in most cases they were found.

"Having a microchip that is registered with a council means that any dog can be identified and linked to the rightful owner."

He said unlike registration tags, which could be removed, microchips were extremely difficult to take out and were linked to the National Dog Database which could be accessed from anywhere in the country.

Currently, 98 per cent of dogs on the council's system are microchipped.

"We also want to encourage people to contact council if they find a dog they suspect is lost or stolen. We often see people sharing posts on Facebook about found dogs, however not everyone has access to social media. Our officers can scan dogs for microchips and reunite them with their owners straight away."

The Chrisohoous missing dog
* Grey (called blue in breeding world) with full white chest and white socks
* Bent tail
* 2 years old

Council dog figures
* 10 dogs listed as stolen this year
* 311 reports of lost dogs reported after hours (it doesn't record lost dog reports during normal business hours as the customer advisers try to resolve the issue immediately, including checking with the pound while they are on the phone
* 98 per cent of registered council dogs are microchipped

What to do
* Microchip your dog at the pound for $25
* If you find a dog phone the council on (07) 348 4199. An officer will attend and scan the dog and work to reunite it with its owner as soon as possible.
* Check your fences to ensure there are no gaps or holes where dogs can get through.
* Think about where on the property you keep your dog.
* If your dog goes missing, report it to the council.
* Make sure your dog has adequate shelter/shade and access to plenty of fresh water.
* Know the correct places for off-lead exercise and where you can and can't take your dog.
* Some dogs need sunscreen just like humans. Apply special dog sunscreen to ears and noses
* Walk your dog at an appropriate time of the day so it doesn't overheat or become dehydrated.