After the 5-year-old boy told his mother Santa would bring her son home from Christmas, the mom of an autistic child whose therapy dog had been stolen begged for thieves to return it.
Natallie Cobden, from Derbyshire, left her son Oscar’s one-year-old Cockapoo overnight in a kennel in Brookfield Farm while she and her family were on a trip to the Lake District.
The puppy, Elvis, belongs to Oscar, who has autism and ADHD, and relies on the therapy animal to help his language and emotional skills – with Natallie calling the dog ‘part of his medicine’.
The mother spoke out on Today to call attention to the thieves that took Elvis. She also stressed the need to take pet theft’more seriously’, calling Elvis “part of her family”.
Natallie Cobden from Derbyshire was the father of an autistic boy whose therapy dog had been stolen. He begged for the return of the puppy, after the five year-old stated that Santa would bring the puppy home for Christmas.
Cockapoo Elvis, a one-year-old Cockapoo was taken while his mother and family were visiting the Lake District. Elvis was staying in Brookfield Farm kennel overnight.
He said, “When Elvis is coming home? How long?” He said, “I don’t know darling. I’m searching tirelessly.” He replied, “Don’t worry mama I know Santa will bring you home.”
Mother-of-two Natallie bought Elvis for Oscar as a newborn puppy and said the animal brought ‘magic’ to their house and helped reduce her son’s ‘meltdowns’.
‘Elvis we got as a pup and we were on the list for the local breeder and he’s now a one-year-old red cockapoo’, said Natallie. “Like most puppies, he is very excited and lovable. He can also be a bit crazy.
“Elvis was a bit magical. Elvis was able help Oscar to develop his language skills and communicate his emotions and social interactions with others.
Oscar owns Elvis. Oscar suffers from autism and ADHD. He relies on Elvis to aid his communication and emotions. Natallie refers to the dog as ‘part his medicine’.
“The greatest thing Elvis did for Oscar was to help him reduce the severity and frequency of his meltdowns, which are part of autism.
When the family was holidaying in Lake District, August came across a phone call stating that Elvis and two other dogs had been taken.
Natallie hesitated to share her story with her children at first. She was hopeful Elvis would find it. Oscar says he still thinks about Oscar every day.
“I was thinking about this and wondering what I could do. Was there anything I could say? As a family, we sat down and watched 101 Dalmatians. They were able to explain it more visually.
“To state that these men are bad and have taken dogs, and the happy ending is that the dog will return. It was easy for him to grasp, and he understood it. He still has questions and confusions.
Natallie, a mother-of-two from Texas bought Elvis as Oscar’s newborn puppy. She said that the animal was a source of’magic and calmed her son’s meltdowns.
The family was on holiday in August when their phone rang to inform them that Elvis, along with two dogs, had been taken during the night.
Natallie asked lawmakers to be more vigilant about pet theft, pointing out that pets are frequently viewed as commodities in the same manner as laptops and chocolate bars.
She stated that animals who are taken don’t belong to them, but they were members of their family.
“They’re an important part of my family. Oscar lost part of his medication, which was part of what he needed to get through his day. This is more than a property.
“I would use this opportunity to appeal to Elvis fans or anyone else who has information about him. I’d take him to the vet and say that you found him. The rest will be up to them.