Ben’s story about his kidnapped Puggle dog appears in Take a Break!

Ben Legah’s true-life story about how his designer Puggle dog was kidnapped was printed in TAKE A BREAK magazine this week.

Regular Featureworld Sell Your Story blog readers might recall Ben’s story when it appeared on page three of the Daily Mail newspaper a few weeks ago.
Ben’s three month old puppy, Louis, was playing in his garden when he mysteriously disappeared. After days of searching, Ben thought he might never see his beloved pup again.
But then he received a bizarre phone call from a man claiming to have Louis and asking for £500 ransom. Ben then heard Louis yelping in the background and agreed to meet the kidnappers. However, when they didn’t turn up, he involved the Police. They then launched an extraordinary rescue attempt on the little dog. Police detectives got the kidnapper to come to Ben’s house with Louis and as soon as he arrived in a van, they stormed it.
After appearing in the Daily Mail, Ben’s story was then placed in Take a Break magazine.
Ben told me this morning he is delighted to see it in the magazine and I am so pleased not only did his kidnapped pet story have such a happy ending, but that I was able to gain him two excellent deals.

If like Ben you have a story you feel is suitable for a national newspaper and a magazine, then I would love to hear from you! Do contact me here: Alison, Can you sell my story? and I will let you know…


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Operation Rescue Puggle pup – story sold to the Daily Mail

Ben Legah’s true story about how his puppy was dognapped appears on PAGE 3 of the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

As a pet owner (one very fluffy cat and two dwarf bunnies) I can’t think of anything worse than someone taking them for ransom.
So when Ben emailed me, ‘Can you sell my pet story?” about how his designer puggle dog (that’s a cross between a Beadle and a Pug!) was kidnapped from his garden, and then held for ransom, I was horrified.
Fortunately, Ben had the sense to involve the Police. When the kidnappers next rang, an officer posed as Ben. And when the kidnapper came to exchange Louis for the money, a posse of Police surrounded his van. Louis was rescued and the kidnapper was arrested.
Dognapping has actually become increasingly more common over the past few years as a way for petty criminals to make a quick buck. After all, it is every pet owner’s nightmare and many will do anything to get their much-loved pet back.

Ben said this morning: “I am so pleased I decided to sell my story to the press and absolutely thrilled it’s made page three!”

There was more good news for Ben as I have gained him and Louis a further deal with a bestselling weekly women’s magazine.

If you have an unusual real life story about your pet click here: I want to sell my story!


My gap year with Myrtle the dog – story sold to Daily Mirror

Daphne’s real life story about how she took her little Pekingese dog Myrtle with her on a ‘pensioner’ gap year was published in the DAILY MIRROR this week.

When former estate agent Daphne Sullivan 64, decided on a gap year before settling into retirement, she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving behind her beloved dog, Myrtle.
And so, at a cost of some £10,000, and against the wishes of many friends and family who thought Daphne was mad, Myrtle accompanied her on her year-long trip to Egypt.
There, the pair travelled through the desert, visited the pyramids and the Sphinx and both of them even received marriage proposals!
Unfortunately, on the way back to the UK – and despite having a pet passport – poor little Myrtle had to go into quarantine for six months. But when she finally came out everyone held a great big welcome home party for Myrtle.
Myrtle’s journey was documented in an article that appeared in the Daily Mirror on Friday. It went over two pages and featured lots of photos from Myrtle’s adventures.

Daphne said: “I thought the feature looked great in the Mirror. She is such a very special little dog and despite the costs I have no regrets at all that I took her with me.”

As regular sell your story blog readers know, I take my own cat Crystal abroad with me and I adore to hear your pet stories. Click on Pet story to sell to tell me all about it and your pet could be the star of a feature too!


Vet’s upset over planned farm for ‘battery cows’ – Daily Mail

Vet Matthew Watkinson brands plans to build a ‘battery farm’ for cows in Lincolnshire as ‘cruel’ in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

Featureworld was originally set up to help ordinary people get their real life stories into the press. But, increasingly, professionals come to Featureworld as a way of getting their views into the public domain.
Vet Matthew Watkinson is a good example of this. He emailed me to place his story for justice. After ten years of being a vet, he was concerned about the way pets were being treated in some practices. His views were printed over two pages of the Daily Mail.
Today, I have been able to help Matthew to get his views into the press again with this commentary today on dairy farming. Matthew was a vet for a number of dairy farms and so has seen first-hand the cruelty that goes on on some farms.
But, because he came to me to place his story, he has been able to get his views out to millions of people via a national newspaper.
If you are a professional person who wants to expose some wrong-doing within your field, do contact me. All contact is treated confidentially and interviewees are never pressurised. It is prudent to note that Matthew contacted me a whole year before he decided to do any publicity. After our initial discussion, he decided he wanted to wait until he felt ready to go ahead. He then later contacted me again when he felt the time was right – and his story then made the front page of the Daily Mail newspaper.
To read about others who’ve sold their stories for justice click here.


Taking your pet on holiday a broad. The newest trend – Daily Mail

The Jet Set Pets – the new trend of taking your cat, dog or even horse on holiday abroad with you. Story in the DAILY MAIL newspaper on Friday.

As regular Featureworld blog visitors will know, I did wonder at Easter if my own pet cat, Crystal, was Britain’s most travelled feline. This was after I had taken Crystal on a family holiday to Tenerife. She has also accompanied us to France for the past four years and is due to come away with us to France this summer! However, she is NOT the UK’s most travelled moggie! That accolade must surely go to Tracy Wood and her cats Sugar and Sandoy. For Sugar the next holiday abroad will be her sixteenth and for Sandoy, his thirtieth! Tracy shared her story with me for Daily Mail readers last week. Her experience of how she takes her cats away in a specially adapted motorhome was joined by the story of the Birtwistle family whose poor Labrador, Coco, was turned away at customs (due to a faulty microchip and it’s the sort of story I fret about every time I take Crystal away…!) and also Phyllis, who flies her cat to and from Spain.
Having taken Crystal on holiday, I was determined to research an article on this and thankfully the Daily Mail agreed to let me! As you can imagine I loved writing this piece and hope it showed other pet owners doing this is possible and a great alternative to leaving your cat or dog in kennels.
If you have a quirky pet story to sell, I would love to hear about it! So do contact me here.


Soldier’s fight to bring pup home – sold to News of the World

Soldier Sophia Snape celebrates her biggest battle – story in the NEWS OF THE WORLD yesterday.

When serving soldier Sophia emailed me her true life story – how she rescued a stray dog whilst she was on tour of Afghanistan – I knew many publications would love her story.
At the same time I took into consideration why Sophia wanted to sell her story. Upper most in her mind was gaining publicity. Sophia faced a bill of £4000 to get her pet back from Afghanistan into the UK and then for her to clear through six months quarantine.
So she was absolutely thrilled that the News of the World took on the campaign. Her story was printed as a page in this best-selling newspaper. Then, a video of Sophia and her beautiful dog, Lola, was taken for the paper’s website. Finally – and most importantly – the paper pasted a link to the Just Giving page so people could make a donation. By lunchtime yesterday, readers were so touched by her story that Sophia had gained more money than she needs to get Lola home (any surplus money, however, goes to Nowzad a charity set up to help other stray dogs in similar circumstances.)
She says: “I can’t believe people have been so kind and would like to thank everyone for helping.”
I am delighted myself for such a wonderful outcome to Sophia and Lola’s story.
If you have a wonderful pet story to sell, I would love to hear it! Simply email me here.
And to see how much was raised for Sophia and Lola – and to make a donation yourself – click here.


Featureworld caught up in Volcanic ash story…

Alison gets stranded in Tenerife with family and pet CAT…
Thankfully Crystal likes travelling as she boarded a flight to Madrid and then had a two-day journey in a left hand German car back to the UK …

Thank you to all the editors who waited for copy and all those interviewees who patiently waited for me to return after I went on what was supposedly a very short break over Easter to Tenerife…
Tenerife WAS great – but funnily enough became less attractive when our plane was cancelled and we faced staying there indefinitely.
However, I ended up becoming caught up in this national story myself as we faced the issue of just how to get back to Blighty.
It was of course further complicated by the fact that Crystal cat travels on her pet passport whenever we go on holiday. This was her fourth time abroad but her first time on a plane. She had flown over with us and of course like us, had her ticket back as well. We decided if we got to Madrid on mainland Spain (Spanish airspace was open) we could then drive home. But our worry was would she be accepted on any other airline? After all, our original company did not fly to Madrid and many planes will not carry pets!
Fortunately Iberia allowed Crystal in the cabin with us to Madrid. From there we hired a car (she is used to travelling by road on our laps or curled up asleep on a car seat) and after going through eurotunnel, we finally arrived back – a little later than planned after going the very scenic route!

I would love to hear of other people who take their pets on holiday as we do!
Perhaps your cat or dog is even more travelled than Crystal, who is running out of space on her passport!
If you have a story about your pet to sell, then I would love to hear about it … simply go to the sell my story form here.