Police warn dog-snatching incidents are surging

Jessica Carpani
Police warn dog-snatching incidents are surging

Dog-snatching incidents are surging, police have warned, after 17 were taken during raid on a remote kennel.

In the latest incident two Lhasa Apso dogs and seven puppies, worth up to £2,000 each, were among pets stolen from a kennel in Barton Mills in Suffolk along with six Labrador puppies and a spaniel.

It came as a national group that coordinates dog thefts warned of a spike across the country.

Jane Frankland, the stolen dog's coordinator for the website Doglost said: "Many dogs are being stolen because of a sudden high demand due to an increase in the price of puppies.

"Dogs are known to have been taken from gardens, kennels - and even when on walks. We would advise owners to be on their guard even if they think they have a secure garden - and never allow a dog to be alone for a long time without checking on them or better watch over them.

"All pets should also be microchipped and the details updated and owners can increase the safety of their pet by checking that gardens and land are secure if dogs are kept outside makes sure their kennels are locked overnight."

Owners are also advised to alter their dog-walking patterns to avoid being targeted as there are claims that gangs are watching popular dog walk routes.

PC Nigel Wright of Suffolk police's rural team said: “We have recently seen an increase in the theft of dogs in rural communities.

"All dogs should be microchipped, it helps us to identify a dog's rightful owner, should they get lost or stolen.

"Most dogs are stolen for breeding or to be resold so when buying a new dog if you have some concerns ask a vet to check their microchip and medical information.

"Owners are also advised to take photos of their dog at different times of the year as the animals' coats can change, and it makes them easier to identify."

PC Wright warned members of the public that if they come across a lost dog, not to share it on social media.

“If you find a dog, please take it to a local vet or dog warden but don't put it on social media,” he said and added: “They will help make sure they are looked after until their rightful owner can be found.

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