Police have released images of four dogs which were recovered during a warrant last month and have yet to be reunited with their owners.
Bedfordshire Police carried out the operation in Hertfordshire as part of their investigation into a number of dogs being stolen from a kennels in Wilden in September.
Twelve dogs were recovered as a result of the warrant.
Dave Brecknock, the investigation officer investigating the kennel thefts, said: “We know the massive emotional impact that these dogs being stolen has had on their owners.
“Our hearts go out to them and we want to reassure people that we have put a substantial amount of time, effort and care into finding the people responsible, and our investigation is very much ongoing.
“We have managed to reunite the majority of the dogs we recovered with their owners, but we’ve had no luck with these last four so we are appealing to anyone who can help us find the rightful owners to come forward.
“If you believe one of the dogs is yours, then we would ask for proof of this, with a minimum being a photo of you with the dog.”
Three people arrested in connection to the dog thefts as a result of the warrant in Hertfordshire were re-bailed by police earlier this month.
Anyone with information about the dogs or who believes they are the rightful owner and has proof of this, can call us on 101, quoting reference number 40/49974/20.
Bedfordshire Police is working with other forces across the eastern region, UK Pet Detectives, DogLost and Pets4Homes to tackle this type of criminality, and recently helped to reunite a dog with its owner after it was suspected to have been stolen from the Manchester area.
This was a result of working with DogLost charity, which assists in the search for missing dogs and has kindly donated two microchip scanners to the force’s rural team. These can now be used to identify stray or recovered dogs, or other animals, and items, like saddles, that have a microchip.
All dog lovers are asked to help to spread this safety message in order to prevent much loved pets being targeted by criminals.
To discourage offenders please don’t buy dogs from social media sites or from anyone who cannot provide appropriate documentation.
Before purchasing your dog make sure you check the proof of ownership, health check and pedigree papers. Additionally, ask to see the puppy in its home environment with its mother.
To minimise the chance of becoming a victim yourself, please make sure that you are following safety advice:
- Be vigilant and cautious of suspicious individuals or markings seen around addresses, any cold callers and strangers approaching you whilst out dog walking
- Ensure your dog is microchipped and registered with up to date information and has a collar and dog tag (use your surname rather than the dog’s name and your telephone contact)
- Take plenty of clear photographs of your pet and especially of any distinctive markings
- Never leave a dog unattended in the garden, in the car or outside shops
- Don’t give details of your pets, your location or your favourite walking spots on social media and make sure your security settings are set to friends only
- When out, always know where your dog is. Be mindful of anyone who may be trying to distract your attention from your dog or attract your dog’s attention away from you
- Avoid leaving dogs in outside kennels if at all possible. If not possible then make sure the kennels are alarmed – experience tells us padlocks alone will not stop thieves
- Ensure all gates are locked at top and bottom with a shoot bolt and padlock and consider fitting a bell or gate alarm
- Ensure the garden or yard boundary (fence, hedge, etc) is secure so that no one can gain entry or pull your dog out. Ensure the dog cannot escape through any gaps
- Consider driveway alarms to alert you to intruders and combine this with the use of monitored CCTV that will alert you via your phone or tablet instantly
- For more rural locations, think about uWatch, a multi-purpose security device that does not require WiFi or additional lighting.
- A list of all licensed breeders is available on your local authority’s website (Bedford) (Central Bedfordshire)
If your dog has been stolen – report it to Bedfordshire Police by visiting its online reporting centre or by calling 101. You can also contact your local authority dog warden. (Bedford) (Central Bedfordshire) (Luton).
Notify your microchip database provider immediately and advise Doglost.co.uk either via their website or Facebook page who can offer help, support and advice.
Bedfordshire Police will support anyone wishing to set up a local DogWatch group – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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