POLICE are urging dog owners in North Wales to be vigilant after a spate of dog thefts.

If follows, 12 dogs, including 11 spaniels, being stolen from properties in the Gwent area.

Warning dog owners in Flintshire and Wrexham, the Eastern Community Safety team added that there had also been an attempted theft of a spaniel in Llanrwst by someone in a white van.

The Leader:

One of the stolen spaniels

A North Wales Police spokesman said: "Please be vigilant following a number of incidents in Wales where attempts are being made to steal dogs, particularly spaniels.

"If you have a dog please ensure it is kept secure and not left on show or unattended.

"If you see any suspicious activity please call us immediately."

Since Sunday, (July 26), 12 dogs have been stolen from three addresses across the Gwent force area.

It is believed spaniels were targeted specifically. Eleven in total were stolen, and one Jack Russell.

The Leader:

Another of the stolen dogs

Dog owners are urged to take extra security measures to ensure the safety of their dogs:

  • Ensure your pet is microchipped – if your dog runs off and it is found, you can be easily traced as its owner. If your dog is stolen, when it is taken to the vets, they will discover that the dog is chipped and you will be identified as its rightful owner
  • Don’t leave dogs unattended in the street, however small and friendly the community
  • Don’t leave them alone in a car – particularly when the weather starts to warm up
  • Ensure your garden is secure and don’t leave them alone for long periods of time
  • If you keep them outside, make sure your property and kennels are secure