Two arrests made following police search for missing dogs

Gloucestershire Police is also urging pet owners to take extra precautions following a spate of dog thefts.

Two men have been charged with burglary following a police operation to find dogs which were believed to have been stolen.

Officers from Wiltshire Police worked with Avon and Somerset Police after several dogs were allegedly stolen from a property in Bristol.

Martin Joesph McDonagh, aged 51, from Leicester and Martin Richard McDonagh, aged 48, from Patchway in Bristol have both been charged with burglary.

They have been released under curfew with an electronic tag meaning they are not allowed to leave their homes between 7pm and 7am.  

Both are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 5 March 2021.  An 18-year-old man from Southwick, Trowbridge who was arrested on suspicion of theft has been released under investigation. 

Elsewhere, Gloucestershire Police has issued advice to dog-owners to keep their pets safe.

The force says the price and demand for puppies has dramatically increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Advice for pet owners:

  • Make sure you have your dog's microchip details readily available.

  • Take an up-to-date photograph of your dog making sure to include any unique markings or features and keep it safe. Update it often as the puppy grows. If your dog is stolen the police will find this really useful.

  • You should have your contact details attached to the dogs collar.

  • When arriving at the vets check for vehicles in the car park or nearby where the occupants appear to be looking at visitors to the vets. Bring this to the attention of the staff and remember registration numbers if possible.

  • Take precautions when out walking, have your mobile phone handy, don't let your dog stray too far away and call it back if you see people acting suspiciously or if they ask a lot of questions about your dog.

  • Always control your pet when leaving and be aware of your surroundings on your journey home.

  • When you get home make sure your dog is safe and if left on their own in a garden make sure they cannot escape and a thief cannot walk in to take the dog.

  • Don’t leave dogs alone tied up outside shops.

Officers are also reminding people about the power of social media, and should the worst happen, to report it straight away but also post an appeal on social media platforms.

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