Alastor the pug: Family relive 'heartbreaking' ordeal after beloved dog snatched by thief

By Megan Archer | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A woman whose beloved pug was snatched from her home has revealed that the thief walked past thousands of pounds worth of electronics to grab the dog.

Alastor the pug, who was stolen from home in Codsall, with his relieved owner Michelle James

“It was awful. I was crying for hours. It was like a child had been taken away – that’s how heartbreaking it felt.”

It was a devastating 10 hours for one Codsall family after their beloved pug Alastor was snatched from his home just a day after he underwent a serious operation.

The little seven-month-old dog was discovered by police cowering in the back of a van before being rushed home to his family.

Alastor’s owner, Michelle James, has thanked the ‘incredible’ people on social media after her appeal for help was shared more than 20,000 times.

Alastor back in the arms of owner Michelle with her family Nicc, back left, Cameron, Caden and Taylor, bottom right

“We were all so excited,” said Michelle, aged 42, speaking of Alastor’s return.

“It was 2am and the police knocked on our door to tell us they had found him. The children came down and everything.

“Apparently Alastor had been very subdued in the back of the van and the police car, but as soon as he saw he was home he got so excited.


"He’s been very spoilt since he was back. He’s been milking it a bit really.”


Alastor was grabbed from the family’s Moatbrook Lane home on Tuesday while Michelle was picking up the children – Caden, 16, Cameron, 13, and Taylor, six – from school.

Her partner Nicc Bennett runs his own health and safety company and was at work at the time.


Michelle said the thief walked past a laptop, TV and thousands of pounds worth of high-quality tools to get to the dog.

“The only other thing taken was this chainsaw-like tool,” she added. “We just want to know what happened – why was he in our house, why take only Alastor?

Alastor the pug

“It was awful. I just sat in the lounge constantly posting online. My other half was driving around looking for him.

"I was crying for hours. And trying to console the children. I was glued to the phone.”

Alastor was adopted by the family less than four months ago, at a cost of £350.

Michelle said they spotted him while on holiday in Wales, and instantly fell in love.

‘Mad-Eye’ Moody

He was named before the family adopted him after Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody from the popular Harry Potter series, as the little dog could only see out of one eye when he was a puppy. But fortunately he has since recovered.

He was stolen just after having undergone a castration at the vets on Monday.

The pug cross had been placed on antibiotics and the family were warned he should not exert himself – which made them even more fearful after he was snatched.

“He could have been in such danger because of this,” said Michelle, who works at Mount Hotel in Tettenhall.

“The vet said if he had knocked his stitches he would have had to have a new operation. And if he didn’t have the antibiotics it could have got really bad.

“You hear so many horrible stories about dogs going missing but we were really, really lucky. We’re so grateful for everyone who helped us.

“Even the police officer who dropped Alastor off said he had seen him all over Facebook.

“I knew social media was amazing, but this was just unbelievable.”

Staffordshire Police officers found Alastor in the back of a van, after they stopped it on Park Road in Featherstone.

A knife was also found.

Oliver Boswell, aged 41, from Booth Lane, Middlewich, Cheshire has since been charged with driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, possession of a bladed article in a public place, theft by walk-in and receiving stolen goods.

He appeared at North Staffordshire Justice Centre yesterday where he pleaded guilty to all charges.

He has been remanded in custody to appear at Stafford Crown Court at a date to be fixed.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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