Eleven severely dehydrated puppies who were concealed in plastic bags and believed to be stolen have been rescued from the back of a van by police.
Officers from Nottinghamshire Police were called to a house in Apple Walk, Carlton around 6pm on Tuesday evening after a member of the public reported a bad smell coming from a property.
Police were confronted with dog waste strewn across bedrooms in the house when they went to investigate, but there was no sign of any dogs.
Further searches led officers to a van parked nearby in Farndon Mews.
The windows were all steamed up and movement could be seen in a bag in the rear passenger seat.
Officers broke into the vehicle and found a total of eleven puppies kept in small cages and bags.
Six of the animals were crammed into a guinea pig cage.
A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and fraud.
This comes as Nottinghamshire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emma Foody recently urged dog owners to be vigilant following high-profile incidents of dog thefts nationally.
She has now launched a survey asking for people’s views locally. The results will help determine the public’s fear of dog theft in Nottinghamshire and support for tougher enforcement.
Chris Pearson, Neighbourhood Inspector for Gedling, said: “The puppies located inside the van were in an appalling state and were visibly distressed.
“We made sure they got the instant care they needed overnight and we’re now conducting a joint investigation with the RSPCA.
“We are continuing to carry out a number of enquiries and are determined to uncover what has been happening at this house and establish where the animals have come from.
“My team acted quickly having suspected something wasn’t right after arresting a man at the scene. Without their diligence and quick thinking, the puppies might not have been located in time.”
Emma Foody, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is a shocking example of callous individuals using animals for their own ends. There is no consideration for the health, wellbeing and safety of the animals concerned, and in my view it’s time to get tough on those who seek to steal, exploit and ill-treat dogs and indeed any animal. We need confidence that those responsible will receive appropriate sanctions. Dog theft, for many is akin to the theft of a family member which is why we are doing everything we can to help people protect their dogs and prevent dreadful incidents like this. I hope people will complete our survey which will give strength to our campaign.”
The animals were immediately taken to the local People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) team before the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) could be contacted this morning.
A man remains in custody and officers are appealing to anyone who might recognise the animals or who may have any information that could help, to contact 101 quoting incident 586 of 2 March. Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.
To complete the Deputy PCC’s survey about dog theft please click here.