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Dog rescue centre tightens security
11:43am Monday 12th August 2013 in News
SECURITY at a dog rescue centre has been tightened and dog owners and police alerted after suspicious incidents in Stokenchurch on Friday.
Men scouting for dogs possibly to be used for illegal coursing are thought to have been in the area.
Thames Valley Police has received similar rural crime reports recently plus men looking at horses and stealing from farms and isolated properties.
A woman walking a Saluki (a breed used for hunting) was approached by four white men in a grey BMW in the village centre at about 11am.
She was wearing a reflective dog walker jacket with Stokenchurch Dog Rescue’s name on it. They told her they thought the dog was theirs, asked about its age and other details. She told them it was a rescue dog and she did not know the details.
Alan Durrant, dog welfare manager, said the woman felt intimidated and the men shouted from the car before driving off. Then she was approached by a white man in white Ford Transit type van near the charity’s kennels in Oxford Road and he asked if the dog was for sale and could he buy it.
He drove off and kennels staff found that his description matched one recently reported to Dog Watch, a group allied to the police and RSPCA which has been tackling dog thefts in the TV area plus rural crime such as fuel thefts. A similar man in a white van was seen looking at labradors and spaniels in Eastwood Road, Stokenchurch, on August 1.
Alan Durrant has ordered tighter security around the kennels and precautions for volunteers who go out walking the usual 50 dogs in the kennels awaiting rehoming.
There have been similar alerts including one three years ago when one of the kennels’ staff out walking a lurcher type dog was approached by men in a car near the centre.
They began tugging at the dog’s lead but the male dog carer fended them off and they left.
Joyce Marriott, SDR’s chairman, said: “Once again we’re on the alert and there have been similar incidents reported on the Dogwatch website. Now we’ve had to tighten up our security procedures and warn all dog owners to be on the alert, especially if their dogs are greyhounds, lurchers and others suitable for coursing.”
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