A handful of pet owners in southeastern Manitoba worry dogs are being deliberately snatched from their homes. At least six dogs have gone missing over the past few weeks.

There’s also speculation the animals are being used as part of an illegal dog-fighting ring.

Rudy Harsany, a farmer near Dufresne, Man., said his beloved dog Max disappeared a week ago.

"We put a bunch of posters out – we offered a reward and never heard (anything),” said Harsany.

He believes the six-year-old German Sheppard was stolen.

His neighbour’s dogs, two golden retrievers, also mysteriously disappeared three days before Christmas.

“Everybody seems to kind of think that somebody’s been stealing dogs for quite a while. I don’t think they ran away,” said Garyt Morfoot.

He said that since his two dogs vanished, his last remaining dog refuses to leave the shed.

Harsany and Morfoot say six dogs have disappeared from the area in the last month but none has been found. 

They now fear their animals were taken as bait for an illegal dog-fighting ring. 

“You know, it's got to be somebody picking these dogs up for dog fights,” said Morfoot.

Police have reviewed the files and said there are no obvious links to the missing dogs.

“At this point, I'm calling them missing dogs - there's nothing to indicate that these dogs have been stolen or that there's any criminal activity involved in this,” said Cpl. Miles Hiebert from RCMP.

Police are, however, asking anyone with information on suspicious vehicles or eyewitness accounts of dog thefts to report them to their local RCMP.

Harsany doesn’t believe his dog will come home, but hopes someone proves him wrong.