Police are reassuring Shropshire pet owners that there has not been a spike in animal thefts in the county.
The force said there had been three reported incidents of dogs being stolen since the beginning of the year where they have been taken directly from their property. The thefts took place in Gobowen, Shawbury and Soudly.
Investigating officers say they don’t believe any of these incidents are linked and are following every line of enquiry.
Inspector Nicola Roberts said: “I completely understand (as do my colleagues) that a dog is part of your family and one being taken from you must be absolutely devastating. Each of the three thefts reported to us have been taken incredibly seriously and we are doing everything we can to reunite these dogs with their families.
“Although it is heart wrenching for those who have had their animals taken, dog thefts are not common in Shropshire and I would like to reassure our communities that there has not been a spike in thefts recently. However, one theft is one too many and, whilst we don’t believe any of these incidents are linked, we are following every line of enquiry.
“Please be reassured that if we were aware of a specific risk we would let you know and offer appropriate advice to our communities. However, we understand that you will want to do all you can to protect your beloved pets and there are steps you can take to keep them safe; always ensure your pets are not left unattended outside shops or in the front the garden where they may be vulnerable.
“If you are planning to sell any puppies or others animals ensure the buyers are fully vetted and do not give address details through social media or sales pages. It is also really important that the contact and address details on animal’s chips are up to date.”
More information about animal crime can be found on the West Mercia Police website.