Unfortunately as many of you may already know there have been a spate of dog thefts recently. We first heard of some working dogs being stolen from a car in Forest Green at the beginning of December but since then these thefts have increased in number.Spreading across Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent there have been reports of gun dogs being stolen - often from peoples gardens, outdoor kennels or even from cars. These thefts have occurred not only at night but in broad daylight - one case outside a busy pub at lunchtime.Police believe there is a gang responsible and they are selecting working breed dogs. I've had this email through this morning regarding the most recent theft -
PLEASE BE AWARE Surrey/Sussex/Hants dog owners: The alert sent out by Milland News on Friday about three missing spaniels near Linchmere is now even more serious. The dogs were not just ‘missing’ as described by the police. They had been stolen from their kennel while the keeper was out feeding his pheasants. Last night the thieves returned and took another four dogs, and attempted to take two more. So a total of seven dogs have been stolen right on our doorstep. You will probably see more about this on BBC South Today and in the next Mid & Pet Observer as well as in Milland News but PLEASE ALL BE ON THE ALERT for these very determined thieves and tell the police immediately if you see anything suspicious. It is possible that the eldest of the three spaniels originally stolen might have been dumped as being too old to be of interest so please contact Elle Hubbard on 01428 741438 if you come across a lost black cocker spaniel (he is microchipped). THIS GANG IS SERIOUS and if any of you have dogs in outside kennels, make absolutely sure they are safe.
Editor, Milland News
If you hear of any dogs for sale or suspicious behaviour then please contact your local police station.
In the meantime ensuring your dog is microchipped will not necessarily stop a theft but will ensure their safe return if found. Microchipping your dog means that it is identifiable if the worst happens but a collar and tag reading - Microchipped and Spayed/Neutered can be helpful. Often these gangs are looking to steal dogs for breeding and can be put off if they think they have already been neutered.
At present please do not leave your dogs unsupervised in cars or your garden. Equally if your dogs are usually kenneled outside then increased security is a very good idea.