The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is appealing for the safe return of Purdie, a German Shepherd trainee guide dog, who was stolen from one of its vans in London on the afternoon of Monday 29 April.

Purdie, a 15-month-old black and tan bitch, was stolen from a cage in the back of the van, where she had been left with another trainee guide dog during a routine training session, between 2.10pm and 3.30pm. The van was parked in Greenstead Avenue, Woodford Bridge, London. The other dog, a Labrador, was not taken.

“The staff have been distraught by Purdie’s disappearance. We are desperate to get her back,” says Wendy Biss-Cooper, dog supply unit manager at Guide Dogs’ London Centre, where Purdie was undergoing her training.

“Purdie is a fantastic dog who was about to become the eyes of a blind or partially sighted person,” says Wendy.

Purdie was scheduled to begin the last three months of her training before being matched up with a new owner when she went missing.

It is believed that Purdie may have been stolen as a potential guard dog, although, according to the association, her good temperament will make her totally unsuitable for this role.

Purdie is microchipped so we are hopeful that we will get her back,”says Guide Dogs’ spokesperson Alison Wade. “We may get her back when she is next taken to the vets, who can scan the microchip to check her real identity.”

Anyone with information should contact Barkingside Police (tel: 020 8478 1123) or Guide Dogs’ London Centre (tel: 0202 8506 1515).

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