Lake Conjola woman Margaret Decourcy Browne has been handed a $550 fine in Milton Local Court for stealing Muggsy, the rare blue chihuahua, and sending him to Queensland earlier in the year.
When owner Bronwyn Higgins lent her dog Muggsy to stud to Browner, her estranged aunt, she never expected the wild goose chase she would be forced to undertake to have him returned to her.
After dropping Muggsy to Browne’s Lake Conjola residence on August 6 she was later told the dog had died and been buried on the sandy flats near the mouth of Lake Conjola.
Sensing something was fishy, Bronwyn refused to believe Browne’s account and contacted Ulladulla Police to investigate.
Police went to Browne’s house on August 10 where she insisted this was true and took police to the area where she said she buried Muggsy.
Police checks revealed it was high tide when Browne said she was there and she would not have been able to access the said burial site.
Media appeals for information on Muggsy’s whereabouts led to sightings of the dog across the Ulladulla area on August 25 and photos (pictured) being sent to police.
Police visited Browne’s house, witnessed someone inside who hid and would not open the door.
The next day, Browne flew Muggsy to Queensland and phoned her friend and asked her to look after the dog.
Browne included a note in Muggsy’s carrier stating she had no intention of returning the dog to Bronwyn and she wanted the friend to have it.
After collecting Muggsy from the airport Browne’s friends made enquiries regarding the dog’s background online and found articles appealing for information on his disappearance.
The friend contacted Browne’s estranged husband, Bronwyn’s uncle and sent him photos of the dog. Muggsy was quickly recognised and Browne’s uncle flew to Queensland to retrieve the dog on August 28.
Muggsy was met at the airport by Bronwyn and her 12-year-old daughter, Ella.
“I would like to thank everyone, especially the police and the media who went above and beyond to help us get our best friend back,” she said.
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