Lassie came home as cops bust pet theft ring

2014-06-11 00:00

POLICE and SPCA officials dealt a hammer blow to a dog theft syndicate operating in Durban’s upper highway region — making arrests and recovering 13 pets in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Two members of the gang, thought to be underlings in the organisation behind a string of dog thefts in the area, were arrested on Monday.

A police source close to the investigation, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said two teenage boys had been arrested while trying to steal a dog from a home in New Germany.

“They were in the process of stealing a dog and police responded and managed to apprehend them. They were questioned and that led to further information being revealed,” he said. A team of police and SPCA investigators had followed up on information and recovered 13 dogs, ranging from English Bulldogs to Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

The crime ring are understood to have pilfered pets and sold them at a premium. Yesterday, nine dogs were reunited with their owners.

Lisa Gadd of the Kloof and Highway SPCA said that inspectors were called by police after officers found houses in the ­Clermont and KwaDabeka area that were suspected to be in possession of stolen dogs. “All the stolen dogs were found to be living in unacceptable conditions at the various houses. Six of the dogs were found on short chains, one had broken off its chain and was running around free, and one dog was found caged in a small area.

“The Kloof and Highway SPCA were so overwhelmed by the determination of the police who demonstrated such commitment by working throughout the night on this case, which resulted in nine stolen animals being recovered, and we hope that all will be re-united with their families,” she said.


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Tips to shield your dog from theft

• If you suspect that your animal has been stolen, report this to the police immediately.

• Microchip your animals as this is an effective and efficient way of successfully reuniting animals with their rightful owners, as well as proving ownership of an animal.

• Keep recent and up to date photos of your animals.

• Sterilise your animals.

• If possible, do not let your dogs have access to driveway gates.

• Ensure that your dogs are secure in your garden, as roaming dogs are easy targets.

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