Four out of five dogs stolen from kennels in a Harborough village have been safely recovered - three people arrested
The breakthrough has been made after a dramatic operation across the Easter weekend involving Leicestershire Police and Greater Manchester Police
Three people have been arrested after four out of five working basset hounds stolen from a Harborough village kennels were recovered by police 130 miles away in Manchester.
Two women and a man were detained on “suspicion of handling stolen goods” by Greater Manchester Police after the dogs were snatched from a kennels in South Kilworth.
The three suspects have all been released under investigation while enquiries continue, said Leicestershire Police.
The owner’s beloved dogs Drama, Lattice, Landlord and Banish are now safe as the search is being stepped up to track down their female pet Bashful as she is still missing.
The dogs, who are all microchipped, have all lost quite a bit of weight – and two have suffered injuries and are being treated by vets.
The highly-trained dogs, owned by the historic Westerby Basset Hounds, were taken when their kennels on Walcote Road, South Kilworth, near Lutterworth, were broken into on Wednesday February 17 or Thursday February 18.
The massive breakthrough has been made after a dramatic operation across the Easter weekend involving Leicestershire Police and Greater Manchester Police.
The two forces quickly linked up to recover the bassett hounds after Beauty’s Legacy, an animal welfare group, were tipped off on Saturday (April 3) that one of the stolen dogs was at a house in Manchester.
“Representatives from Beauty's Legacy liaised with this person and the two police forces.
“And on Saturday evening the first of our bassets was safely recovered,” said a spokeswoman for Beauty’s Legacy, which reunites stolen and missing dogs with their owners.
“Shortly afterwards, following further investigations, a second dog was recovered from the same address.”
She said police then seized two more of the basset hounds from a second property in the Manchester area on Easter Monday.
“Arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing,” said the Beauty’s Legacy spokeswoman.
“The hounds have lost drastic amounts of weight and sustained injuries - welfare agencies are aware and are working with the team.
“Therefore, no further information will be released at this time.”
But calling on people to pull out all the stops to help find missing Bashful, the spokeswoman stressed: “However, Bashful, an 18-month-old female, remains missing and we urgently need the nation behind her campaign to find her.”
This afternoon Sgt Paul Archer, of Harborough police, said: “I am pleased that four of the dogs have been found.
“I would like to thank both the public for their assistance in locating the dogs and colleagues from Greater Manchester Police for recovering them.
“However, I would still ask anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the outstanding dog to come forward.
“Any information you have could help us.”
You can pass on information by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ and quoting reference 21*97226.
You can also call police on 101.
Bashful has the following striking markings:
* Right side, white with black shoulder blade and black patch on ribcage. Front half of back leg is white with white paw. Base of tail down to back half of leg is black.
* Left side, white with black patch behind shoulder blade stretching from top of back and down to elbow. Black patch across flank, black base of tail.
* White chest.
* Brown head, long brown ears, brown eyes, with dark patches around eyes.
* Very thin white stripe from top of head down middle of face, spreading out to cover muzzle, nose and top lip
* Black band across top of brown eyebrows.
If you have any information please call Beauty’s Legacy on 07833247587, 07866026343 or 07970522860.
You can find the online campaign to track down Bashful here:
The criminals who stole the five basset hounds broke in to the kennels in South Kilworth through a hedgerow.
They were snatched after a string of dog thefts across Harborough and throughout Leicestershire earlier this year.