Stolen dogs could belong to owners in Norfolk and Waveney

west meadows traveller camp

The 83 stolen dogs were found at West Meadows traveller site just on the outskirts of Ipswich over the weekend. - Credit: Google Maps

More than 80 stolen dogs which were located on the outskirts of Ipswich over the weekend could potentially belong to dog owners in the Norfolk and Waveney area.

Suffolk police said the work to locate dog owners was ongoing and some could be from outside of Suffolk.

On Monday, six people were arrested after 83 stolen dogs were found at West Meadows traveller site and have been released on police bail until Friday, April 16.

This includes a 38-year-old man, two 34-year-old men and three women aged 46, 41 and 35 - who are all from Ipswich.

Police are in the process of locating the owners and said: "Officers have been working to identify the owners of the dogs as quickly as they can, primarily through the use of scanning them for microchips in the first instance.

"This work is ongoing and will involve liaison with other police forces, as many of the dogs are suspected to have been stolen from outside of Suffolk.

"Detectives would like to reassure all those people who have contacted Suffolk police to enquire as to whether their dog has been recovered, that everyone’s call or email will be acknowledged if it has not been already.

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"Officers are aware that many people will be anxious to know if their dog has been recovered and politely ask for victims to bear with them as they expedite these enquiries.

"Anyone who may have information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich, quoting reference: 13719/21."

stolen dogs

Among the dogs reported stolen in Norfolk in recent months were three red cocker spaniels puppies from the Rougham area. - Credit: Norfolk Police

The number of dog thefts across the UK has risen since lockdown was first introduced last year.

Research from the charity DogLost reported dog thefts in the UK had risen from 172 in 2019 and 465 in 2020 - an increase of 170pc, indicating an increase in the number of lockdown related dog thefts.

There has been an increased number of dog thefts reported to Norfolk police in recent months, including a labrador stolen from its kennel in Hockering, and the theft of three red cocker spaniel puppies in the Rougham area.

stolen dogs

Three stolen dogs are safely on their way home thanks to joint working between police teams. - Credit: Suffolk Rural and Wildlife Policing

Likewise in Suffolk, three stolen dogs were located and returned safely back home in Bury St Edmunds.