Dog stolen from Kent family found nine months later with puppies

A pet dachshund stolen from a family home in Kent was found with five of their pups on an alleged puppy farm 80 miles away in Hampshire.

Bella was taken from her home in Aylesford, near Maidstone, nine months ago and rescued by police last week.

Officials searched a suspected puppy farm in Tadley on Wednesday following a lead from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Police found Bella with five puppies in a cage on the grass verge in front of the house.

The dachshund was stolen from her home last November.

All dogs have been placed in secure kennels and the investigation into the circumstances is ongoing, the Hampshire Constabulary said.

Nationally, the charity DogLost saw thefts increase by 170 percent last year, from 172 dogs in 2019 to 465 in 2020.

Earlier this year, the National Police Chief’s Council warned that criminals are taking advantage of the huge price hikes and demand for puppies during the lockdown.

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In Kent, 121 dogs were reported stolen between October 2019 and September 2020, of which only 24 were returned to their owners, according to a freedom of information request made to Kent Police.

Of these doping cases, only 10 suspects were arrested and none were charged.

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