A DISTRAUGHT pensioner said a man selling the Big Issue sold her dog for £20 as she shopped in Tesco.

Sherry Sourena left her 12-year-old dog Tetley outside a store in The Triangle in Bournemouth town centre.

She came out to find the man – who was not an authorised seller – had sold her Lurcher Saluki cross to a stranger.

“What he did was evil and calculated,” said Mrs Sourena, 60, a retired nurse living in Bournemouth town centre.

“He’s ruined my life. I’ll never risk leaving Tetley alone again. He’s all I’ve got.”

Until the incident Sherry regularly walked her dog in town and he has became well known. Tetley is so well behaved and placid he just sits outside and waits for her.

She saw two men stroking him while she queued for shopping but at the time thought nothing of it.

“A lot of people stroke him,” she said. “He’s a beautiful dog. When I came out he wasn’t there – I felt like my heart could stop.”

Two girls told her they had seen the second man walk off with Tetley. She chased after the man with her bags of shopping and a broken shoulder and became “hysterical” when she confronted him.

“I was screaming at him,” she said. “He told me – and I believe him – that the man outside Tesco sold Tetley to him for £20. Tetley wagged his tail and came over to me and wouldn’t leave. It was obvious he was mine.”

The man who sold the dog was not wearing an official Big Issue seller’s jacket.

Her vet, Henry Feilden, said: “This shows people should make sure their dogs are microchipped and be careful about leaving them outside because people will steal them.”