Warning of dog theft increase in Bristol

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A Bristol animal sanctuary is warning pet owners to be vigilant after receiving a number of reports of stolen dogs in the city.

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary in Barrow Gurney says it has been inundated recently with people who have been victims of dog theft.

Animals are reported as going missing from secure kennels, outside shops and from owner's gardens.

A sanctuary spokeswoman said they may be being bred or used for fighting.

She said: "There are various theories going round that mainly there is a quick buck to make stealing a dog, breeding from them and selling the puppies online.

"As well as the reports we don't want to believe are true which are dogs are being used as bait in dog-fighting. We're hoping that's a hoax, but it's something that we have to take into account."

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