TWENTY-ONE dogs were recovered and two men arrested in Newport yesterday.
The dogs were recovered on animal welfare grounds following a warrant carried out by officers in the Ringland area yesterday afternoon.
The dogs are in the care of the RSPCA and are being looked after outside of the Gwent area.
Two men, aged 25 and 44, both from Newport, were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, attempted theft, attempted burglary and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
The 25-year-old has been released on police bail, and the 44-year-old has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Police are working with the RPSCA to identify the dogs that were found and to determine if any have been stolen. If any of the dogs have been stolen, Gwent Police will seek to find their owners and return them.
DCC Amanda Blakeman, has been in charge of a national police response to dog thefts as part of her role as the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for acquisitive crime.
She said: “We know the devastation the loss of a much-loved pet can cause and we want to reassure pet owners that reports of this nature are investigated thoroughly.
“The number of reported dog thefts in Gwent remains low, however we are aware of the rise in demand nationally for dogs during the pandemic. The cost of a puppy has considerably increased over the past year making this a lucrative market for organised criminals to exploit.
“While the number of dog thefts nationally is low, there has been an increase in awareness of this type of criminality among the public. We rely on the public providing us with information and would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it to us.
“Dog owners can take reasonable security measures to prevent thefts such as checking privacy settings on social media before sharing pictures of your pet online, as this can attract the attention of some criminals.
“I also want to encourage those who are buying dogs to really consider where the pet has come from and ensure that it is being purchased legally. Advice can be found online on the checks you should make before purchasing a new dog or puppy.”
For safety advice visit www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/protect-your-dog-against-theft
Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 2100126275.
You can also contact Gwent Police via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.
Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.