A Black Ferns player has had her dog stolen while coaching at a local park in Mount Maunganui amid a dispute over the bulldog’s puppies.
Black Ferns player Angel Mulu’s partner Liam Morrison was allegedly threatened by two men while he was sitting in his car at Blake Park on Sunday and their three-year-old bulldog, Mia, was taken.
There are reports the man was held at gunpoint when the dog was snatched, but police have not confirmed if a weapon was involved.
Mulu is a prop for Chiefs Manawa in Super Rugby Aupiki and made her international debut for the Black Ferns in 2022.
Tauranga businesswoman Karen Sharma, who is Mulu’s mother, told Stuff Mia was a 21st birthday present for her daughter three years ago.
Sharma said Mulu’s partner was threatened by two men, one who was weathering “studded knuckle dusters”.
“Two men pulled up in a grey car beside him and one jumped in the front next to him,” Sharma said.
“He had studded knuckle dusters. Another man got in behind who said he had a gun. They told my son-in-law that if he didn’t hand over the dog he would get shot. Liam is not a small man, but what are you going to do if someone says they are going to shoot you?”
Sharma said Mulu was “hysterical” when she ran over to find Mia gone and called police.
Police confirmed to Newshub a man was threatened at Blake Park at about 2:10pm on Sunday and a dog was taken.
It’s believed Mia was taken because of a disagreement over ownership of the dog’s pups. The bulldog was scheduled to give birth to her first litter this week.
Sharma told Stuff Mia was bought for $5000 on the condition the previous owner would have his pick of a pup from the first litter, which the family said they are complying with.