Letchworth woman hoping to breed dog walker confidence

Werthers and Claire

Werthers and Claire - Credit: Archant

A woman who runs a Letchworth dog boarding business is hoping to improve confidence among walkers who are concerned about dog thefts.

Despite Herts police this week quashing rumours of a dog snatch spate across the county in the wake of a similar crime spree across the border in Beds, she believes that many walkers now feel less safe when taking out their dogs.

Claire Mariadas owns Love To Bark – a business where people can drop off their dogs for her to walk alongside faithful pooch Werthers.

She said: “The recent dog kidnapping instances are really concerning.

“I am having to be extra vigilant and take extra precautions and I am sure other people with dogs are feeling the same.


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“I would advise people to let someone know where you are walking, carry a mobile phone and whistle, and walk in numbers whenever possible.”

Despite rumours circulating on social media, Herts police have established that only three dogs have been stolen since the start of the year – but all three were taken in October.

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Two dogs have been returned to their owners and arrests have been made.

The North Herts safer neighbourhood team’s Insp Duncan Sales said: “Most of these apparent thefts have not been reported to us or have proved to be unsubstantiated.

“Our advice to dog owners is to not leave pets unattended in a garden or exercise area which is not completely secure and ensure there are no gaps in fences or unlocked gates which could be left open.”

In the past month police in Bedfordshire Police received six reports of dogs stolen from gardens and kennels across the county – including one attempt in Arlesey.

Claire will be helping others put her safety tips into practice with free 40-minute group walks on the Greenway starting tomorrow, Friday, and running daily until December 12.

Meet Claire and Werthers outside the Grange Recreation Ground pavilion on Gaunts Way at 10am each day.

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