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Dog theft petition featured in todays Times newspaper

As Neil Varney drove from his home through the countryside towards the Stourhead estate in Wiltshire this month, he was convinced that he was being followed.

In a trailer behind his SUV were a dozen gun dogs, eager for their Monday morning run. Minutes after he had parked, three of them were gone.

Mr Varney suspects that the thieves had been watching his shows to learn his system of commands
Mr Varney suspects that the thieves had been watching his shows to learn his system of commands

Mr Varney, 53, one of Britain’s best-known gun dog trainers, is one of the latest victims of dog thefts that have prompted calls for a change to the law.

Police records, obtained through freedom of information requests, showed that almost 1,900 dogs were stolen last year, compared with 1,500 in 2013. However, the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (Sampa) said that the figure could be closer to 3,000, because of recording discrepancies.

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