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Is organised gang targeting pedigree cocker spaniels?

Fears raised after second raid in just over a week leaves children devastated

A photo of the stolen cocker spaniels which has been shared on social media

The owner of six cocker spaniels has been left heartbroken after thieves stole them from her stables.

A family in Lepton woke on Thursday to discover heartless thieves had taken their pets, including a nine-week-old spaniel puppy.

The owner, who asked not to be named, was so distressed that she was unable to break the news to her children.

She said: “I am gutted and haven’t told the children yet – they will be really upset.

A suspect caught on CCTV at kennels in New Mill where five Cocker Spaniels were stolen

“It looks like whoever did this has been well organised. I am worried about how they are being kept and where they will end up. They are family pets.”

The pedigree spaniels are valued at around £800 each, she said. The puppy had recently been sold and was due to go to its new owner, a friend of the family.

Friends have now shared an appeal on Facebook for information on the whereabouts of the dogs.

A family friend, who shared the appeal, said she was “shocked and angered” by the theft.

A suspect caught on CCTV at kennels in New Mill where five Cocker Spaniels were stolen

She added: “Whoever has felt the right to go onto property, smash the locks and take the dogs has left behind heartbroken children.”

The break-in at Lepton follows the theft of six cocker spaniels from kennels in New Mill earlier this month, raising fears that an organised gang may be at work.

The raiders who struck at dog breeder Julie Whiteley’s home in Snowgate Hill were caught on CCTV but are still at large.

A crowdfunding bid to raise £5,000 for a reward and to hire a ‘pet detective’ has so far raised £2,200.

West Yorkshire Police are investigating both incidents.

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