Four-week-old puppies stolen at knifepoint

A litter of four-week-old mongrel puppies was stolen last week at knifepoint from a home near Woodhouse.

Two people wearing masks entered a flat in Smelter Wood Road while the owner of the puppies was sleeping. The owner challenged the attackers, who then threatened him with a knife and left the flat with the puppies.

It happened on Monday 22 February at around 6.30pm.

It comes at the same time as the RSPCA issued a warning to all dog owners after a series of other incidents where thieves have attempted to steal dogs.

The thieves impersonate RSPCA workers using fake RSPCA stickers and claim the dogs by saying that they match the description of a stolen dog in the area. The RSPCA is urging pet owners to remain vigilant when approached.

Thieves may also attempt to contact dog owners by mirroring the RSPCA’s emergency number, 0300 1234 999. This number will not normally be displayed on outgoing calls from the RSPCA.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “If an individual claiming to be from the RSPCA knocks on your door, always look for the badge and ask to see official identification.

“All our frontline staff wear branded clothes and carry ID. If you’re concerned someone may not be who they say they are please call 0300 1234 999 (using option 1 which says ‘responding to a card left by the RSPCA’) to verify their credentials.
“If you believe someone is suspicious then do not grant them access to your property or your animals and report the incident to police on 101. We are working with police to investigate these incidents.”
The RSPCA have issued the following guidance for dog owners:
  • Don’t leave your dog outside a shop on his own or in a car alone.
  • Teach your dog a reliable recall for when you are out walking.
  • Check your garden to make sure it is secure and if you have a gate then fit with a lock.
  • Neuter your pet as this can reduce the likelihood of roaming.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an ID tag and that it is up to date.
  • Microchip your pet and keep the details up to date.

If you have information on the stolen puppies call police on 101 quoting crime reference number 14/33654/21. You can also give information anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers via their website – – or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.

Written by Erin Mansell

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