Sussex Police have asked for the public’s help as they try to reunite some stolen dogs with their owners.
During one intelligence-led operation, officers seized ten dogs during a search warrant at a site in Surrey on Tuesday, 16 March.
An investigation is currently underway – led by detectives from Crawley CID – who have been working closely with the Force’s specialist Rural Crime Team and other police forces, to help identify the remaining dogs and their lawful owners.
Over the last several months, there has been a considerable increase in the theft of much-loved family pets from their owners by callous thieves who sell the animals to unsuspecting members of the public.
Det Chief Inspector John Wallace, of Crawley CID said:
“We are desperately seeking the lawful owners of the remaining dogs which were seized in the recent warrant.
“We are working through all information meticulously and pursuing other lines of enquiry to progress the identification of these dogs.
“While we continue to progress enquiries on identification, our priority continues to be around the health and welfare of the dogs, and medical treatment is ongoing.
“We appreciate this has been an agonising time for those members of the public with missing pets who have been waiting for further information.
“Following the recovery of the dogs, Suffolk Police are looking to explore developments in the burglary investigation and are working closely with Sussex Police to assist us with our ongoing investigation.”
Willow, a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel, was one of the dogs seized by Sussex Police, and on Wednesday (24 March) she was reunited with her thankful owners.
A 30-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods has been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.
A spokesperson for the force said that the site’s location is not being disclosed for ‘operational reasons’.
In January, Sussex Police launched a dedicated operation, ‘Collar’, led by the Rural Crime Team, to respond to and help prevent dog thefts.
Anyone with information about their suspected stolen dog is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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