I just love The Age – not. Just as we are deeply immersed in the two biggest political stories of the year – the media laws and leadership speculation – and the on-line Age leads with this story.
Fears for dogs after spate of thefts
Police are concerned that dogs stolen in a spate of thefts in towns to the west of Melbourne are being used as bait in illegal dog fights.
Eleven dogs have been stolen from homes in towns such as Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Ballarat and Sebastopol over the last three months. The thefts have taken place both during the day and at night.
There have also been reports of people whistling over the back fences of houses that have dog runs or enclosures, and of people being caught in the act of trying to steal dogs.
The stolen dogs are mostly small breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Jack Russells, Bacchus Marsh Senior Sergeant John Gibson said.
Senior Sergeant Gibson said police were concerned that the dogs were being stolen to use as bait in illegal dog fights – in which dogs are often killed – or for breeding on puppy farms.
‘‘There have been illegal dog fighting rings broken up in this area, which is part of the reason we’re concerned,’’ he told Fairfax Media.
He said that while there was no evidence the dogs were being used as bait in illegal fights, it was unlikely they were being stolen to keep as pets.
‘‘If it’s the same people stealing them, they’d have an awful lot of pets by now,’’ Senior Sergeant Gibson said.
Investigators want to speak to anybody who might have seen a white ute, a green ute and a silver Hyundai sedan in the area.
Police have been told that several dogs have been seen in the trays of the two utes, which might be Toyota Hiluxes.