Sometime after 3pm on Monday 16 July 2018 an 11-month-old pug named Pixie went missing from an address in Park Avenue, Baxter Park, Dundee. Pixie’s owner, Kelly, had gone out to do some shopping, leaving the tiny dog alone in the company of her male flatmate, whom we shall call ‘AA’ for now for legal reasons. Kelly had known this man for several years and he had given her no reason to distrust him.
When Kelly left, Pixie was sleeping contentedly and she told AA not to take her out. She was alarmed on her return a short while later therefore to find the flat empty and Pixie gone. As time passed with no word from AA, Kelly became increasingly anxious. As she didn’t have AA’s new mobile number she asked a friend to call him. The friend spoke briefly with AA who was described as angry, screaming down the phone that he would “speak to Kelly later”.
In a state of panic Kelly rushed over to the nearby park and asked dog walkers if they’d seen AA or Pixie but no one had. She returned to the flat and waited anxiously.
When AA finally returned home at 7:30 pm he was alone and there was no sign of Pixie. When Kelly asked him where the dog was, AA shouted “lost!” in a manner that was more irritated than concerned. He said that Pixie had run off in Baxter Park at 4pm and he’d been unable to find her. He then told Kelly, somewhat bizarrely, that he was “away to jail” but didn’t elaborate on what he meant and left in a taxi to go to a girlfriend’s house. Kelly texted AA the following morning to tell him he was no longer welcome at the flat. His response: “I’ve already moved out lol”
AA returned two days later while Kelly was out to collect his things and left for good.
In the following days Kelly posted a number of desperate appeals on Facebook. Her posts were shared extensively in the local area, the charity DogLost got involved, and multiple reports of sightings from pedestrians and motorists started to come in. The news wasn’t encouraging, however, with witnesses reporting seeing a man resembling AA carrying a pug-type dog that appeared to be lifeless.
One pedestrian recalled seeing the man holding a dog in his arms.
She said: “The dog was very still and I thought that was strange as a dog wouldn’t usually allow itself to be held like that without moving at all.
“He avoided passing close to me on his way towards the city centre – probably because I watching him. It was very clearly a pug and in retrospect, it seemed utterly lifeless.
“The man appeared red and flustered. I wish I had stopped him and asked if the dog was okay.”
Another witness – a young girl – said she had seen a man in Baxter Park pick up a pug by the neck and punch her in the face. The girl had been too afraid to challenge him.
These sightings took place as late as 7pm on the evening of Monday 16 July – 3 hours after AA said that Pixie had disappeared.
Police Scotland were contacted and on 27 July they issued an appeal for information through the local newspaper and social media. Their statement read:
“There have been numerous sightings of what appeared to be a man carrying a small dog resembling Pixie in the Stobswell and Waterfront areas in the following few hours.
“The dog appeared to be lifeless or ill, and the man was described as in his mid 30s-40, tall, large build, and wearing a red t-shirt and blue shorts, possibly with stripes down the side.
“He was last seen shortly before 6pm near the bottom of Crichton Street. These sightings have been confirmed on CCTV.
“We have already received a large amount of relevant information from the public regarding this incident and are currently following a positive line of enquiry.
“We have also attempted to contact a number of witnesses who have been identified to us, but have not been able to get in touch with them.
“We would therefore like to ask anyone who has information about this incident who we have not already spoken to, to contact us – in particular if you saw the described man in the area of Baxter Park, Arbroath Road, Blackscroft, Dock Street, the Tay Bridge, Slessor Gardens or Crichton Street, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday 16th.
“We are also very interested in a report given to us regarding a man being seen possibly mistreating a dog in Baxter Park around that time.
“Anyone with any information should contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting CR/17475/18 or speak to any police officers.
“Alternatively if you have any information about the incident you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form at crimestoppers-uk.org.”
On 31 July the Sun reported that a man had been charged in connection with Pixie’s disappearance. That man is AA but, for legal reasons, his identity cannot be disclosed until he appears in court.
In the meantime, Kelly and her friends formed the Facebook group Justice for Pixie with the aim of spreading awareness about the case.
While retaining a tiny glimmer of hope that she may find out what happened to her beloved pet dog, who is almost certainly deceased, Kelly is struggling to come to terms with her loss. A vulnerable woman with long-standing mental health issues, the likely death of her sweet-natured little pug at the hands of a man she trusted has been devastating for her wellbeing.
At the same time Kelly is determined that justice will be served. Sadly, as it stands, legal justice may be elusive. AA has been charged with theft. There is no proof that he harmed Pixie.
CCTV footage captures AA making his way towards the city quay with Pixie and returning moments later without her. Whilst this suggests he dumped her in the River Tay, it’s not conclusive and may not be sufficient to secure a conviction for animal cruelty.
In the meantime heartless AA seems to be getting on with his life just fine. Although there are rumours that he’s been beaten up several times (and is receiving police protection as a consequence), AA still posts on Facebook as if nothing has happened. Whether its about a new council house or potential job or just pathetic jokes about his ridiculous nickname ‘Cider’ (he’s a raging alcoholic as well apparently) it’s all good in AA’s twisted little world. A friend of his named Bob Ramsay even posted this recent photograph publicly to Facebook of the two of them together in a pub.
AA – whom it has since come to light is a violent criminal with a conviction for attempted murder after attacking a mother and her son with a knife in 2010 – is gloating. This man is dangerous and needs to be put back in jail where he belongs.
Please join the Justice for Pixie group to follow developments in this distressing case.