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Police still hunting ‘vile’ dog thieves

PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:10 24 July 2020

Melissa Murfet's cockerpoo Betsy, who was among the canine haul of 17 dogs and puppies stolen from the Fiveways kennels at Barton Mills, Suffolk. Picture: 


EAST ANGLIA NEWS SERVICE

Melissa Murfet's cockerpoo Betsy, who was among the canine haul of 17 dogs and puppies stolen from the Fiveways kennels at Barton Mills, Suffolk. Picture: EAST ANGLIA NEWS SERVICE

East Anglia News Service

Enquiries into a ‘vile’ theft which saw 17 dogs and puppies stolen from a boarding kennels in Suffolk are ongoing, police have said.

Melissa Murfet and Darren Neal's daughter Evie, 11, with the cockerpoo Betsy who was among the canine haul of 17 dogs and puppies stolen from the Fiveways kennels at Barton Mills, Suffolk  Picture: MELISSA MURFETMelissa Murfet and Darren Neal's daughter Evie, 11, with the cockerpoo Betsy who was among the canine haul of 17 dogs and puppies stolen from the Fiveways kennels at Barton Mills, Suffolk Picture: MELISSA MURFET

The theft from Fiveways Boarding Kennels and Cattery, in Barton Mills, on Thursday, July 9 has caused great distress to the dog owners, with one family saying it has left their children “in pieces”.

Business owner Sarah Francis told the EADT she will have to close following the theft of the dogs, which included puppies who were barely two weeks old.

“These are vile people who do not care,” she said. “They see them as just a financial gain, they don’t see them as our forever friends or beloved pets.

“One of the litters they stole they left the mother behind and now it is likely they won’t survive without her there to feed and support them – puppies require round the clock care and these kind of people won’t be giving them that.”

MORE: ‘Heartbroken’ family offer reward for dogs stolen from kennels while on holiday

Suffolk police issued a warning last month following a spike in the number of dog thefts in the county, with organised crime groups actively targeting addresses.

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There have been 12 confirmed cases where dogs have been stolen in the county this year, and all bar one of those incidents involved the theft of dogs that would be classed as working gun breeds.

A spokesman for the force said: “Owners should be reassured that enquiries are ongoing to locate the offenders. The loss of any pet can be devastating and we advise all owners to be vigilant and take extra care surrounding crime prevention measures. In particular, we would advise working dog owners and breeders to review security of any outdoor kennels.”

MORE: Suffolk police search for two cars in hunt for 17 stolen dogs

Two female Lhasa Apsos were stolen during the Barton Mills break-in, while seven Lhasa Apso puppies and six five-week-old Labradors were also taken, as well as a three-year-old working Cocker Spaniel and a white Cockapoo.

Police are now keen to track a black 4x4, which had a spare tyre on the boot and was driven by a woman in her 20s. They are also looking for a small white van with two men inside.

It is believed the vehicles were parked on or near a field in Tuddenham Road, where the kennels are, between 4pm and 7pm on the day of the theft.

Melissa Murfet, whose dogs Annie, Betsy and Storm were stolen, said her children are “in pieces” as a result of the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference 37/38708/20.


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