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Pet owners on alert after thefts

PUBLISHED: 07:15 28 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

Pet owners were last night warned to be vigilant after a spate of thefts in south Norfolk. The district council's dog warden service has been received reports of five dogs being taken last week - two labradors in Costessey, two lurchers in Ellingham and a labrador in Swardeston.

Pet owners were last night warned to be vigilant after a spate of thefts in south Norfolk.

The district council's dog warden service has been received reports of five dogs being taken last week - two labradors in Costessey, two lurchers in Ellingham and a labrador in Swardeston.

It also emerged that in the previous week two German shepherd dogs were stolen in the Pulham area, between Long Stratton and Diss.

In one case, a seven-foot high hedge was partly removed and the dog kennel cut through with wire cutters.

It follows warnings from police and animal welfare groups earlier this month after thefts near King's Lynn and Mundford.

Three German shepherd/Rhodesian ridgeback cross puppies were stolen from a garden at Gaywood, two of which are still missing.

In the other incident, a border terrier was bundled into a car from outside her family home at Ickburgh.

Commenting on the latest thefts, South Norfolk Council's dog warden, Rachel Ives, urged people to get their animals microchipped with their owners' details, as it made them harder to pass on if stolen.

"The dogs were in back gardens, which were broken into. This is very traumatic for individuals and families, especially those with young children who become very attached to their pets," she said.

"It's a cruel thing to do, and we appeal to whoever has taken these much-loved pets to return them immediately."

In the Costessey case, one of the labradors had been chipped and was then abandoned in the street. It was later found and returned to its owners.

Miss Ives said: "The thieves must have quickly realised their mistake and abandoned the dog in the street.

"I think the dogs are getting stolen and if they are chipped the thieves are thinking they can be traced back to somebody, lets get rid of them.

"If owners everywhere ever needed an illustration of why it is important to have their pet chipped, this is one. It's better to be safe than sorry."

Norfolk police spokeswoman, Kristina Raines, said in the last nine days they had 14 dogs reported lost in Norwich and south Norfolk.

So far this month there have been only two dog thefts reported to police - one in Norwich and another in Starston.

"The theft of a pet, particularly dogs, can be very upsetting for the owners concerned and we would always urge anyone who believes their dog has been stolen to contact police," said Miss Raines.


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