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Thursday 1 June 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Denis McCarthy Denis McCarthy and Rocco at home in Ballyvolane.
# Cork
Owner and pet reunited after dog stolen by hammer-wielding masked man
Denis was walking his dog near his home in Ballyvolane, Cork when his dog was snatched in a violent robbery.

A MAN WHOSE dog was stolen by a hammer-wielding masked man has been reunited with his beloved Rocco after the pet was brought home by gardaí following a social media campaign.

Denis McCarthy was walking his French Pit Bull on Ballincollie Road in Ballyvolane, Cork, yesterday when the man threatened him with a hammer and robbed the dog.

Denis said the man had repeatedly tried to strike him with the hammer before snatching Rocco and fleeing in a car.

The dog owner immediately rang gardaí for help and also took to social media in a plea for the return of his family pet.

That campaign worked and late on Sunday night, just a few hours after the robbery, gardaí arrived at Denis’ home with Rocco.

“I’m delighted, it’s amazing. I couldn’t believe it when it happened to me, it is just something you see in other countries and that it would happen to other people, I never thought it would happen here,” Denis told The Journal.

“I took the day off work and the two of us are just chilling here in bed, he’s snoring away next to me.”

“He wasn’t harmed, there wasn’t a mark on him. The guards brought him home, just gone 11 last night, I couldn’t believe it, I was screaming with the shock of it, I had to have a few celebratory drinks,” he added.

Denis said that gardaí had tracked down Rocco’s location with help from some social media sleuths. His appeal garnered 24,000 shares in just a few hours.

“They told me they were able to identify where he was because of my post. They went to the person’s house and they took Rocco back.

“I just want to thank everyone for their help, the guards and all the people who shared my post on Facebook.

“Rocco would be worth about €2ooo so that must be why he was taken,” Denis explained.

A garda spokesperson said officers were continuing their investigation and that no arrests have been made.  

“Gardaí are investigating a robbery incident on Ballincollie Road, Ballyvolane on April 11, 2021.

“At around 4.30pm a man was out walking his dog when a car pulled up beside him. A man exited the car, armed with what is believe to be a hammer, and threatened the man to hand over his dog.

“The dog was then taken and put in the car, which then left the area.

“The incident was reported to Gardaí and as part of the investigation the dog has since been recovered and returned to the owner,” the spokesperson said.