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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Beagle picked up by food delivery staff from Pune resident returned after 52 hours

On October 9, Vandana Shah, the pet owner, lodged a police complaint at the Alankar police station, Kothrud, about her missing beagle named “Dottu”. She also wrote about the incident on Twitter

pune Updated: Oct 10, 2019 16:27 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Beagle Dottu went missing from Vandana’s home-cum-factory premises at Erandwane at 11.30 am on October 7.
Beagle Dottu went missing from Vandana’s home-cum-factory premises at Erandwane at 11.30 am on October 7.(HT/PHOTO)
         

A two-month-old beagle puppy allegedly picked up by a Zomato delivery boy from the premises of a Pune resident was returned after 52 hours following a marathon search and Twitter posts by the puppy’s owner.

On October 9, Vandana Shah, the pet owner, lodged a police complaint at the Alankar police station, Kothrud, about her missing beagle named “Dottu”. She also wrote about the incident on Twitter, saying:

“@ZomatoIN @zomatocare@Rashmibansal #doglovers help @PETA #missingdog kidnapped by Zomato delivery guy Tushar Mobile number xxxx on 7thOct from Poona at Karve Road,Deccan.”

A reply from @Zomato Care said: “Hi Vandana! That’s totally not acceptable. Please help us with your contact details or the order details via DM...”promising that a team member would get in touch.

There was no response from a company executive when called by this newspaper.

According to the police complaint, Dottu went missing from Vandana’s home-cum-factory premises at Erandwane at 11.30 am on October 7. The factory produces ball bearings.

Vandana said the CCTV footage revealed that Dottu was in the premises before he went missing. The next day, another delivery boy near her residence recognised the dog from a picture and said it was taken away by a fellow Zomato staffer named Tushar. Tushar had apparently shared a picture of her puppy with another delivery man of Zomato.

Vandana said she had not ordered anything from Zomato.

“We tried to contact Tushar’s number but he did not respond. The following day he agreed that he had picked up the dog and said he was ready to return it but kept giving many excuses and did not show up,” said Vandana.

Vandana said the police initially refused to lodge a complaint, but registered one eventually after being told that she was a lawyer. She said that Zomato declined to accept that the dog was kidnapped by their food delivery boy.

According to Vandana, on Wednesday, Tushar shared his address in Mulshi, on the outskirts of Pune, and Vandana’s family rushed to the address to take custody of their pet. She said that Tushar was not present there and pleaded on telephone that he belonged to a poor family and the police case against him be withdrawn.

Police inspector Kalpana Jadhav confirmed that the puppy had been returned.

An infuriated Vandana said it was unfair that Zomato did not provide a contact number to her to discuss her emergency, but asked her to send a ‘DM’ (direct message) on Twitter.

“Zomato has all our details, including address and mobile number, but in such an emergency, we have to do DM on Twitter? There should be an official contact number for the customer’s complaints,” she said.

First Published: Oct 09, 2019 21:34 IST

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