Gemma Atkinson calls for a 'crackdown' on dog thefts
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Keith and Liz Fetches were devastated when their three springer spaniels were stolen in an overnight raid on their East Yorkshire home. Thanks to a huge social media campaign that spanned the length of the country, Keedy, Jazz and Robbie are finally back together.
The three spaniels were reported stolen on February 12 and after a three month search, the spaniels were discovered, more than 300 miles apart.
Jazz and Robbie were located in Lancashire when Robbie was handed in to a vet in Wigan and Jazz was purchased in Preston by a man who saw the Facebook appeal and contacted a friend of the owners.
But Keedy, the youngest of the three, remained missing and the Fetches began to fear the worst.
Last Friday, after all hope was lost, Keedy was taken to a vet in Canterbury, Kent, by someone who had bought him online.
When vets scanned his microchip it was revealed that Keith and Liz were his true owners and he was reunited with his beloved family.
Family friend Jo Milnes, who lives on a neighbouring farm and co-ordinated the social media appeal, told the Yorkshire Post: “Keith hasn’t stopped smiling since they came home. We are so thankful to the vet in Canterbury who scanned Keedy – it is not the law to scan for a chip and I wish it was.
“The database flagged up that he was stolen, and there are probably a lot of stolen dogs who have ended up in loving homes, but which aren’t their real homes.
“If vets scanned every newly registered dog that isn’t a puppy, a lot more stolen pets could be found.”
The Fetches have now installed new security measures, including CCTV and alarms, on both the kennels and their bungalow.
Humberside Police’s wildlife and heritage crime officer, Rich Fussey, said: “We are aware of the fear of dog owners after a number of social media posts about dog thefts.
“We have not seen an increase in our area but would always ask for people to take some basic crime prevention measure to protect their own dogs.
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“Report any suspicious activity to the police, if you see people checking out properties please call us to report your concerns.
“If your dog is kennelled outside, please ensure these are secure and locked and install CCTV to monitor your property if at all possible.
“If you are out with your dog, please keep your dog under full and proper control, in sight and avoid leaving your pet tied up in a public place and outside shops.
“We very much welcome the raised awareness of this type of incident and would ask owners to remain vigilant and report any concerns to us.”
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