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Four eight-week-old basset hound puppies have been stolen from their kennels in South Kilworth, Leics.

The two couple of hounds belonging to the Westerby Basset Hounds were taken by two youths seen running away from the kennels with the puppies in their arms on Tuesday evening (5 July).

“A man from the local butcher’s contacted our kennel-huntsman Mark Luxton to inform him that one of his employees had seen two scruffy young lads – aged around 12-13 years – running down the road away from the kennels with the puppies,” explained senior-master Teddy Cripps.

“Mark had not long left the kennels, which are by his house, and we think they must have been watching his movements,” she continued.

“As soon as Mark received the phone call he returned to the kennels and drove down the lane from Walcote in the direction these lads had gone and searched around the surrounding area. I telephoned a farmer at Swinford, who also got into his vehicle and had a drive around, but sadly we had no luck finding them.

“The tri-coloured puppies were out of our own bitch called Echo by East Lincs Voyager and were due to go to their puppy walkers very soon,” explained Teddy.

“They left just one bitch puppy from the same litter behind and this has caused a knock-on effect in the kennels, unsettling the other hounds.”

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This is not the first time that thefts have taken place at hunt kennels. Just two weeks ago two lurcher puppies were stolen from the Westerby Basset’s kennel-huntsman’s kennels, which have not yet been recovered, and on 1 June we reported that three beagle puppies had been stolen from their kennels in Oxfordshire.

The Westerby Basset Hounds keep 25 1/2 couple of hounds and are the only pack of English Basset hounds in the country. They cover an area between Lutterworth and Market Harborough, extending to parts of Rutland and Northamptonshire.

If anybody has any information regarding the whereabouts of the stolen basset hound puppies, please contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.