Photos of suspected stolen dogs released in bid to find owners
- Credit: Suffolk police
Police have released photos of 48 dogs recovered during a raid at Ipswich's West Meadows travellers site — in a bid to reunite them with their owners.
The site, near Asda in Goddard Road, was raided on Saturday, March 20.
A total of 83 dogs of various breeds and ages were found after a large number of officers spent 10 hours at the site.
As yet, none of the animals have been reunited with their owners — with the lack of identifying features and information making it difficult to rehome the animals.
Many of the dogs are suspected to have been stolen from outside Suffolk.
Suffolk Constabulary has now published images of 48 of the dogs in an effort to find their owners and is asking those who believe one of the dogs may be theirs to get in touch.
The remaining dogs not identified are either currently subject to ownership enquiries or are young puppies.
All of the seized dogs remain part of the ongoing investigation and at this time, none of the 83 dogs have been returned.
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Det Ch Insp Nicola Wallace, senior investigating officer for the operation, said: "We are keen to hear from anyone who believes any of the dogs in the images may be theirs.
"During the last few weeks, officers have been liaising with other police forces around the country, as well as conducting a number of other enquiries, in order to establish where the dogs may have originated from.”
Proof of ownership can include the following:
- Veterinary/vaccination records clearly identifying the dogs.
- Pictures of the dog with any distinctive markings/scars/distinguishing features.
- Any details of microchipping – however, please note, all these dogs either do not have microchips or have chips which may not be correctly registered.
- Other pictures of the dog(s) which prove ownership during the dog’s life.
- Any purchase details, including details of where the dog was purchased from and/or receipts.
- Any records of reporting the dog(s) lost/stolen either to police or on other websites/charities.
- Some dogs are grouped into possible litter groups, but this is not necessarily the case.
Following the West Meadows raid, six people, three men and three women were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.
Four of the six people — a man aged 34, a man now aged 39, a woman aged 41 and a woman aged 46 — have since had their bail date extended to Thursday, June 17.
The other two people have been released and will face no further action at this time.
All enquiries must be made via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org by May 24.
Officers are asking people to use the email address only and not to contact the constabulary’s Contact and Control Room on 999 or 101.
Dog theft crime has soared during 2020 when lockdown prompted more people to take on a pet — a demand which drove up prices and enticed criminals to steal for breeding or selling.