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Spaniels, lurchers and Belgian malinois dogs dumped in Rutland

More than a dozen dogs have been abandoned suddenly in rural villages.

Calls to animal charities and a council’s dog warden began to flood in on Saturday (January 6) after a number of spaniels, lurchers and Belgian malinois were found in Rutland.

As the number of dogs being reported began to increase, animal charity Harvey’s Army announced it suspected the pets were not being lost.

Katie Hibbitt with one of the dumped dogs
Katie Hibbitt with one of the dumped dogs

Katie Hibbitt, a volunteer for Harvey’s Army who lives in Oakham, said: “It is completely heartbreaking. We are doing everything to make sure they are safe.”

Based on where sightings were reported, it is believed the dogs were dumped between the Barrowden and Wing area through to Oakham, as well as in Wymeswold near Melton Mowbray.

The number of dogs rescued has now reached double figures, according to Katie, but there are still believed to be three on the loose.

These dogs, thought to be whippets or lurchers, were spotted on Tuesday (January 9) around Barrowden and the A47 in Rutland.

Working with other animal rescue charities and drone teams, the search for the dogs continues.

Katie said: “We ask people not to call or chase them as it may scare them away and put them in flight mode. We recommend you drop to the ground and call us so someone trained in catching dogs can attend.

“Sometimes the dogs go completely feral.”

Anyone who spots one of the dogs is asked to contact Katie on 07525 378258 with a description of the animal and a location.

Although the reason for them being abandoned is unclear, Katie said: “We know they have been used for a purpose and have been discarded.”

Katie, a volunteer for Harvey’s Army, will scan the dogs for a microchip.

Harvey’s Army was set up in 2014 after the death of a miniature poodle from Liverpool called Harvey, who had been missing for 13 weeks before his owners were told, despite being microchipped and wearing a collar tag.

His owners campaigned to change the law so dogs or cats retrieved from the road are scanned for a microchip, and now more than 300 volunteers work to reunite lost pets with their families.

Katie said: “As a dog walker I was often finding strays and having to take them to the vets, sometimes out of hours.

“I found out about Harvey’s Army and wanted to offer my time.

“It is heartbreaking when they have been dumped but when they are lost and it’s just a mistake it is heartwarming to reunite them.”

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Three of the abandoned dogs were collected by the Rutland County Council dog warden at the weekend.

They are being kennelled for seven days while attempts are made to find the owner but if they aren’t collected then the council will attempt to re-home the dogs.

Other dogs are being looked after by the people who found them.

Katie said: “Thank you to all the local community for all their support, not just in helping secure some of the dogs but also in keeping us updated on sightings and all the support they give Harvey’s Army in many other ways.”

Leicestershire Police is not investigating the recent cases of dogs being abandoned.

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