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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71158
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We had a visit from the police on Wednesday regarding a dog

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We had a visit from the police on Wednesday regarding a dog that someone else claims we stole. The dog in question is registered to us with Kennel Club since 18 August this year. My wife has to got to police station next week to make official statement, which would then be presented to CPS, prior to this should we worry that the police may turn up and take the dog. Would they, Can they?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
They could. Whether they will or not is another matter.
Is this is a high value show dog?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, it was a puppy my wife took in from a breeder she was working with who had taken the puppy in payment for a mating. The puppy approx 10 weeks old was not eating and when she did eat, it came back!!

This was February this year, my wife continued working for this breeder until Aug this year, when the breeder intimated she wanted the bitch back, at which point my wife offered to buy the bitch (after 6 months the bitch was family, we have 4 other dogs same breed. The breeder said no, my wife then stated the breeder would then have to pay boarding, feeding, etc, approx. £2,500. The breeder the gave my wife the registration paper work and said keep her. This was on 17th Aug, my wife stopped working for her the following day due to breakdown in relationship (been there over 10 years)

We received a solicitors letter 2 weeks later asking if my wife was going to go back to work, , no mention of stolen dog, the answer was no, letter dated 2nd Sept.

Next thing on Wed 8th Oct 10.15 pm 2 policemen at door asking questions and asking wife to go to police station on 17th this month and make statement on video!

What is the value of the dog?
What type of dog is she?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The puppies from the original breeder from the same litter were sold for £750, this would have been at 10 weeks old, the bitch is now 10 months old, classed as overshot for showing (top jaw over bottom jaw) value approx. £500 as a pet. The breeder making the charge never registered the bitch in her name it was still in the name of the original breeder, my wife knows him.

It is rather surprising the police want to get involved in this. Normally they will not with allegations of theft of a dog. They will usually say it is a civil matter.
In any event, they could seize as stolen property. There is a chance they would do that. With any other form of stolen property there would be that action.
They probably won't take that action until charge though. It is really difficult to say because they could do it earlier but I would have expected them to do so already if that were their intention.
The only issue that doesn't make much sense really is that this dog has been registered with you since 18 August which was way before the allegation at a time when she must have know the dog had been removed. It might well all therefore disappear into nothing.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You asked what breed, German Shepherd, Just to clarify the breeder in question never had the bitch for more than a couple of days in February this year, since then she has been at our house with the family. The breeder who is 88 years old would not know the bitch if she bit her on the ...........

Yes, its a fairly bog standard breed. Even a show GSD wouldn't be that expensive compared to the more unusual breeds. It is technically an allegation of theft but I have never know the police want to get involved in it. There used to be a widespread scam in the UK where some members of a certain community would steal family pets and then blackmail the owners and the police used to just refuse to get involved which was why it carried on.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo, last question in your opinion would the CPS be likely to proceed with this and should my wife take a solicitor with her on the 17th

and are you busy that day?

Yes, she should have a solicitor in interview. I have a commitment on the 17th anyway but any criminal firm would be fine.
Whether CPS pursue it is another matter. In fairness, not much is being prosecuted at the moment unless you tried to kiss somebody in 1962 in which case millions is wasted to get a community order. There is a good chance nothing would happen.
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