Dog owner blasts

A DISTRAUGHT dog lover has slammed “sickening” thieves who he believes deliberately staked out his property before stealing his four treasured spaniels.

A DISTRAUGHT dog lover has slammed “sickening” thieves who he believes deliberately staked out his property before stealing his four treasured spaniels.

Heartbroken Mark Waterfall is now offering a financial reward for the safe return of his beloved pets, which were stolen after the owner left his home near Newmarket for just half an hour.

Mr Waterfall, 26, last night spoke of his disgust at the thieves and also candidly revealed his close connection with the animals, which he has trained as working gundogs for the last seven years.

He said the crime was particularly callous as one of the dogs had a litter of puppies just four weeks earlier.

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“We are confident that someone has done this deliberately as I only left the house for about half an hour,” said Mr Waterfall, who lives with his partner Sarah Walters, 21, in Ditton Green, Woodditton.

“We were away for such a short time and our neighbours were in so we didn't think the dogs would be at risk.

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“They are not just working dogs, they are friends and companions as well.

“It has been a tough time for me and Sarah as we have a very close bond with them.”

The couple - who did not want to reveal the names of the dogs fearing it might help the thieves in some way - said their home was broken into after a padlock on their gate was smashed on Friday .

Three of the stolen dogs are springer spaniels - two dogs and a bitch - and all are liver and white.

The oldest dog, aged seven, has a tattoo marking in one of its ears. The other dog is three and half and the bitch is ten months old.

The fourth dog, a two and a half-year-old cocker spaniel bitch, is roan and black and is the mother of the six pups.

He revealed: “The puppies are missing their mum but they are surviving.

“The hardest part is going out to the kennels or thinking about feeding the dogs and then realising they are not there.

“It is sickening that someone would do this and they obviously have no respect for dog lovers.

“I believe the thieves knew exactly what they were doing as it was such an organised crime.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police appealed for anyone offered dogs for sale in suspicious circumstances to contact them.

He added: “Dogs are not something which can be concealed easily and I would urge people whose friend or neighbour may have come home with a cocker or springer spaniel, and cannot explain where they got it from, to contact the police.”

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in Woodditton between 11.15am and 1pm on Friday should contact Ely Police Station on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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