Dozens of stolen dogs worth £40,000 have been rescued by the police and returned to their owners.
Around 80 dogs and puppies were found on a single plot of land raided by police in Carmarthenshire, and six more dogs were recovered from Briton Ferry, near Swansea.
One person was arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of handling stolen goods following the warrant at the Carmarthenshire property, Wales Online reports.
The massive discovery on Saturday came from an investigation launched just a day earlier after a dog owner reported the theft of five bitches and 17 puppies.
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Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales Police attended the two areas where several dogs had been released which required officer heroics to save one from drowning.
Superintendent Cath Larkman, of South Wales Police, said: “It needs to be borne in mind that these dogs are not merely items of financial value, these are living creatures who feel pain and suffering and loss at being stolen and they are much loved family members in many instances.
“One of the stolen dogs that was recovered at Briton Ferry fell into the water in panic at being released and had to be rescued by a police officer to prevent it drowning.
“We are pleased these dogs are back with their owners. As a police service, we take this criminality very seriously and our investigations are ongoing. We are grateful for the assistance of the public for their support with this investigation.”
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Detective Inspector Barry Kelly, of Dyfed-Powys Police explained some of the dogs were easily identified by their microchips, which continued to be scanned on Monday.
He said: “The problem we have is that the puppies won’t have been chipped, so unless they are feeding from the mother dog while we are there, it will be very difficult to trace their owners."
“We have had seven crimes reported to us in respect of dog thefts in the past six months. The officers in case will review these investigations and re-engage with the victims. As and when we find any link with dogs recovered from the two sites, we will be in contact with the potential owners.
“Although we have made an arrest, our enquiries are still at an early stage, and we would like to hear from anyone with information that might assist us.
“We also urge dog owners – and particularly breeders – to be vigilant and take all possible steps to ensure their animals are secure.
"A number of dogs stolen in just one incident reported to us were estimated to be worth around £40,000, which goes to show these are incredibly high value thefts.”
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