Puppy thieving gangs warn owners: ‘Watch your dogs because we might be there’

Cruel puppy thieves, who snatch beloved pets from their families and resell them for huge profits, have warned owners to keep an eye on their pooches.

A Birmingham-based gang that imports stolen puppies from Europe and brings them to the UK revealed how they cut foreign chips out of the pooches before importing British chips.

Then the animals are resold at great profit – sometimes up to 400 percent.

In a Vice documentary, a masked thief said a French bulldog could be bought in Romania for £ 300 – but in the UK it could be sold for up to £ 3,000.

When she described the pups’ meat being cut to change the chips, the interviewer asked in horror if the process was causing any distress to the animals.

The thieves warned dog owners to keep an eye on their pets

The gang member named ‘Martin’ replied, “Yes.”

The interviewer then asked if the vicious process resulted in cruelty to animals.

Martin replied: “Call it what you want. There is bread on the table.”

He added, “We’re not interested [the puppies’] Well-being after the dogs are gone. “

Terrifyingly, Martin said that buyers of these puppies often have no idea where their four-legged friend is from – usually it is shipped from Romania. He argued that the growing demand for puppies in the UK is funding the puppy breeding industry.

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Another puppy gang in north London admitted stealing dogs in the UK and selling them for profit – or using them for breeding.

The ringleader of the gang, who had served in prison for a while but was released at the beginning of the pandemic, said shockingly: “We take dogs with us wherever we find them, dog in the park, we can lure them away quickly – whatever we get, we can get it.”

He added, “It’s obviously not a great feeling, but at the same time you’re doing it for the money, is it?”

The thief added that most owners don’t ask a lot of questions about where their new pup is coming from or what their bloodline is. He claimed, “People only want the dog.”

His frightening message to the owners was: “Don’t let your dog run in front of you. Because if that happens, we could be there. “

In a burgundy tracksuit, his criminal partner said: “For me, the dogs are just money.”

Dog thief in a mask

The gangs described bringing dogs with them from abroad and selling them on for huge profits

The gang said the risk of being caught by police for puppy theft and farming was low and none of them knew anyone convicted of the crime.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Criminal Investigation Commissioner, said people can be jailed for up to seven years for puppy theft – but conviction rates are low.

“I would like to see more convictions and see these criminals caught and imprisoned,” she said.

The documentary also tells the story of Ceilidh, who became a detective to find her stolen Staffordshire bull terrier, Eco, when she was stolen from under her nose.

Ceilidh described the theft as a “split-second” robbery. One minute Eco was in front of her in the park and the next she was kidnapped.

But after Ceilidh drew attention to Eco’s disappearance online, he managed to “kidnap Eco back”.

Although conviction rates for illegal puppy breeding are low, online animal detectives take matters into their own hands, identifying missing pets and helping deprived owners.

Lisa Dean said, “Pet theft must be a crime in itself. Penalties must be increased for imprisonment and consequences. The price of dogs must be capped.”

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