Police seize 83 dogs from traveller site - could any be from Wakefield?
Police officers have seized 83 dogs from a traveller site, with fears many may be stolen from other parts of the country.
The dogs were seized during an operation at West Meadows traveller site in Ipswich, Suffolk, on Saturday. The raid was organised as part of an investigation into a series of dog thefts.
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.
Officers are now working to identify the owners of the dogs, through the use of microchip scanning initially.
Suffolk Constabulary said: “This work is ongoing and will involve liaison with other police forces, as many of the dogs are suspected to have been stolen from outside of Suffolk.
“Detectives would like to reassure all those people who have contacted Suffolk Police today to enquire as to whether their dog has been recovered, that everyone’s call or email will be acknowledged if it has not been already.
“Officers are aware that many people will be anxious to know if their dog has been recovered and politely ask for victims to bear with them as they expedite these enquiries.”
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.”