Stolen dogs from the Valencia region have been rescued by officers from the Guardia Civil. 32 dogs in total have been removed from ‘appalling conditions’. Some of these dogs were showing serious cuts to their necks caused by the removal of their identification chips. The Guardia Civil has been hunting down the thieves since September.
The dogs were stolen in the provinces of Valencia, Castellón, and Alicante by a gang who intended to sell the animals for hunting. The total value of the recovered dogs is approximately 50,000 euros.
Maltreatment and fraud
‘Operation Jascán‘, has dismantled an alleged criminal organisation involved in the theft and sale of hunting dogs. Four people were arrested and a fifth is still under investigation. The alleged crimes include theft, animal cruelty, abandonment of animals, falsifying papers, and membership of a criminal organisation. In addition, this fifth person, a veterinarian, is suspected of implanting new chips in the stolen dogs and providing new passports and identification cards. Futhermore the dogs were not registered in the Valencian Computerized Register of Animal Identification (RIVIA).
Police investigation started in September
The hunt for the gang began in September. This was following two reports of hunting dogs being stolen in the towns of Llanera de Ranes and L’Enova (Valencia). In addition, there were dog thefts in Almansa (Albacete) and Barracas (Castellón).
After the suspects were found, the police searched the home of the suspected leader of the group. This then lead to discoveries at the former cattle farm that he managed. Dogs were also found in various homes in L’Alcudia de Crespins and Canals. Furthermore, 48 identity cards of pedigree dogs and 32 passports, three hunting rifles, and a carbine were also seized.
Allegedly, the members of the network offered the stolen animals through advertisements on Internet sales sites. Following the sale, and implantation of a new chip, they sent the dogs with an animal transport service to different parts of the country. The veterinarian secured arranged for new passports.