More than 80 stolen dogs were seized by authorities over the weekend (20 and 21 Mar), when police investigating reports of dog theft raided a Traveller site in Suffolk.
Police carried out a 10 hour long search of the West Meadows site, on the outskirts of Ipswich, resulting in the recovery of the animals and a series of arrests.
Dogs will be reunited with owners ‘as quickly as possible’
Officers recovered 83 suspected stolen dogs of various sizes, breeds and ages from the site, with officers now working “as quickly as possible” to reunite them with their owners. Many of the animals are expected to be from outside the area they were recovered from.
Six arrests were made, of three women aged 35, 41 and 46, as well as two men aged 34 and a third 38 year old man.
Police also issued a number of fines to people on the site over breaches of Covid regulation, as well as dispersal orders, which force recipients to vacate a specific area for up to 48 hours.
Dispersal orders were issued to “minimise the likelihood of any further crime or disorder,” according to officers.
‘A significant impact’
Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said dog theft has become a “particular problem” in the last 12 months, as the value of dogs has risen during lockdown.
He said: “We recognise that these crimes have a significant impact on the families affected and we will continue to disrupt criminals wherever we have information that we can act upon.
“I know many victims of these crimes will be anxious to know whether or not we have recovered their pet.
“I would like to reassure them that we are working as quickly as possible to identify who all the dogs belong to and aim to reunite them with their owners as soon as we can.”
Anyone who may have information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich, quoting reference: 13719/21.