A spate of dog thefts in north Wales has led to police issuing advice to owners to help keep their furry friends safe from the crooks.

The Daily Post reported that a series of recent thefts and attempted thefts has included both pets and sheepdogs. Among them was a Saluki Greyhound called Bracken, who was stolen from a home in Denbigh but has since been recovered.

An attempted theft of farm dogs occurred at Dyffryn Nantlle in Gwynnedd, while three sheepdogs were stolen from a property on Anglesey and a Jack Russell-Border Terrier cross was taken from a property near Bala.

Police said they were not aware of any link between the incidents, although this could not be ruled out. They said owners of farm dogs should move kennels to well-lit areas, install alarms on the doors and secure the gates to farmyards.

With dog theft having become an increasingly common crime since the start of the pandemic amid increased demand for pets, now could be a very wise time to install a dog tracker chip to ensure your pet can be traced if it is lost or stolen.

This happened in the case of Bracken the Greyhoun, whose story was highlighted by the Denbigh Leader. The dog’s owner Jennifer McGuiness issued appeals via social media posts and the dog was spotted wandering loose in Staffordshire, 80 miles away.

A member of the public who had seen the posts was able to coax him to come to her and after bathing him and posting picture online to alert the dog’s owner, a crucial microchip check proved the dog was indeed Bracken.

Ms McGuiness told the paper of her relief at getting her pet back, remarking: “I know it doesn’t happen to most, but we’ve got the best result and he’s back home.”

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