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Barton Mills dog thefts: 'Heartbroken' family offer cash reward for safe return of their beloved pets




A family left 'heartbroken' by the theft of two of their beloved dogs from a Suffolk kennels is offering a cash reward for their return.

Darren Neal and his partner Melissa Murfet left their golden retriever Storm, cockapoo Betsy and cocker spaniel Annie with Fiveways Boarding Kennels and Cattery, in Barton Mills, last Thursday, while they stayed at their holiday lodge in Norfolk.

However, Betsy and Annie were stolen, along with a lhasa apso female with seven puppies, a black and white female lhasa and six labrador puppies, just hours after they were dropped off.

The couple's daughter Beau, three, with spaniel Annie
The couple's daughter Beau, three, with spaniel Annie

Darren, 40, and Melissa, 39, who have seven children, were the first customers at the kennels which reopened on Thursday following the coronavirus lockdown.

Darren said: "At first it was just disbelief. Now it's just like having a member of your family taken away. It's heartbreaking - the kids are just in pieces.

"We just don't know what's happening to them or how they're being treated. The thoughts just fly around in your head, they don't stop."

Betsy
Betsy

Annie is a certified therapy dog, who visits the couple's two children’s day nurseries in Cambridgeshire, and was about to start assistance training.

The couple, of Chippenham near Newmarket, are offering a cash reward of £2,000 for each dog for their safe return.

Darren said: "Just please come forward. These ultimately are members of our family. It doesn't matter if you're the people who took them. It doesn't matter. Just bring them back."

Police want to trace a black 4 x4 vehicle which had a spare tyre on the boot and was driven by a woman, in her 20s.

The couple's children with the dogs. Top left Evie, 11, with Betsy; top right Harry, nine, with Betsy; bottom left Stanley, four, with Annie and Beau, three, with Annie
The couple's children with the dogs. Top left Evie, 11, with Betsy; top right Harry, nine, with Betsy; bottom left Stanley, four, with Annie and Beau, three, with Annie

Officers are also keen to find a small white van which had two males inside. These two vehicles were seen to be parked on or near a field, in Tuddenham Road at some point between 4pm and 7pm.

They want to hear from anyone who may have dash cam footage that may have recorded these two vehicles, in Tuddenham Road, on Thursday afternoon.

It is believed the culprits entered the property of the kennels from fields at the rear of the site, removing hinges from gates to steal the dogs.

Anyone with information should contact Melissa on 07598747848.

Contact police quoting crime reference 37/38708/20.

Visit www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/existing-report-update


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