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13/11/01
Dog theft fears

FEARS THAT an organised dog stealing operation is under way in various parts of the UK have been expressed by many individuals in different breeds, following a spate of dog thefts in different locations.

Canine enthusiast Sarah Sevastapulo outlined a typical theft scenario, which she has now circulated by e-mail to numerous dog Lists on the Internet in a bid to make people aware of the problem.

"A friend of mine, Anne, who breeds German Shepherds, had two stolen from her home and in front of her, last week. She challenged one of the smartly dressed men who carried off her dogs, but they just kept walking.

"She herself has severe arthritis and could do nothing. The police told her it was a good job she didn't because she would have been had for assault!2

" Apparently because his arms were holding the dog, he would not have been able to defend himself and so whatever she did, she would have been in the wrong!! The dogs were sprayed with Damp Start which contains ether and renders them unconscious."

According to information received these men travel in a white van and check out the situation in advance. They have scaled six and eight foot fences and taken both large and small dogs including a Rottweiler. They also took an entire litter of pups from one breeder.

Sarah continues: " Everyone said that Anne would never be at risk because she has so many Shepherds, but they watched her routine and took her dogs in broad daylight. Anne works for a vet in Bicester and the practice has been inundated with calls. Sometimes the dogs are lured away while out on a walk. The owners think their dogs may have run off and been involved in an accident and phone in hoping for information."

It seems that the dog thieves are working in various 'triangle' areas, with the latest round of thefts being slightly further north and taking in Northamptonshire.

• OUR DOGS will continue to issue updates on this worrying situation. If any readers have further information relating to dog thefts which they feel may be part of this organised ring, please contact the Editorial office at the usual address, or telephone 0161-228 1984
or e-mail ourdogsedit@lineone.net