Dog Thefts on the Rise In Norfolk

Tue, 18 Sep 2007

Pet owners in Norfolk are being warned to be extra vigilant amid growing concerns of a spate of dog napping in the area.

The Pact animal sanctuary in Wood Rising, near Hingham, says it is receiving an increasing number of calls regarding stolen dogs, especially collies .

The latest incident reported was a 13-month-old tri-colour border collie bitch, which was stolen from its owner, Doug Rostron whilst he was at the A11 petrol station at Besthorpe on Saturday at around 12.30pm.

Mr Rostron, from Deopham, said his pet collie, Kim, went missing after it had run into a petrol station after being scared off by a train .

Pact owner Chris Rockingham commented: "We have been told that two dogs were stolen from a horseshow in the county recently, so this would make it the third. At the moment we know cats and dogs are increasingly being stolen to order in the county."

"We know that staffies are being stolen in Norwich and then used in dog fighting. Pit bulls used to be used in dog fights, but obviously they're banned now. Staffies are seen as suitable for what these people call a sport ."

He added: "We do get a lot of calls from people whose pets have gone missing. I would advise all pet owners to get their dogs micro chipped. Owners should always be vigilant and make sure their gardens are safe."

Police in the county have recorded 120 dog thefts over the past three years, according to figures released earlier in the year. But, dog welfare organisations claim the problem is currently a lot worse as a lot of thefts do not get recorded by the police and the animals are instead regarded as missing.

The organisations state that the animals are becoming an increasingly attractive target for criminals because they can be sold on with relative ease, making the robbers a tidy profit in the process.

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: "We would like to take this opportunity to ask dog owners to stay vigilant. If anyone is offered a dog for sale in suspicious circumstances, we would urge them to contact police on 0845 456 4567."

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