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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Pet dog thefts at 'all time high'
Coda went missing from the farm on Saturday
Dog owners in the South East are being warned to keep an eye on their pets because dog theft in the region is said to be at an all time high.

Internet based organisation Doglost, set up to trace missing animals, has found one out of three dogs stolen are taken from Kent, Sussex or Surrey.

It believes many of the animals are being stolen and kept until owners offer a reward for their safe return.

Sussex Police said it had seen no evidence of organised dog-napping.

'Rural areas at risk'

A police spokesman said: "It happens but it is not something that happens regularly and there is no evidence to suggest it is a trend or that there are groups going round stealing dogs.

"The evidence just isn't there."

Doglost has said the animals are going missing and aims to help reunite lost pets with their owners.

The organisation has advised owners to microchip their animals.

Rural areas are thought to be the most vulnerable.

Anneka Lundin's poodle was taken from her farm in Lewes on Saturday night.

She said: "I heard a car coming down the lane quite late at night which is quite unusual.

"I started to walk over and I heard doors slam and people laugh.

"They drove off very fast and the next thing we knew Coda was missing."

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