by Countryside Alliance

A spokesman for The Westerby Basset Hounds in Leicestershire has expressed relief following the discovery of four out of five working basset hounds, which had been reported as stolen from their kennels in February.

UPDATE: As of 08/04/2021 the final missing hound, Bashful, has been found. 

On Saturday 3rd April the hunt was contacted by a member of the public regarding a sighting of one of the bassets at a property in the Manchester area. Representatives from ‘Beauty's Legacy’, a voluntary group which harnesses social media to reunite lost and found animals, liaised with this person and the two police forces, and on the Saturday evening, the first of the bassets was safely recovered. Shortly afterwards, following further investigations, a second basset was recovered from the same address.

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Post shared by Greater Manchester Police on Facebook

Leicestershire Police and Greater Manchester Police followed lines of enquiry and on Monday another witness spoke with the Beauty's Legacy team and two further bassets were safely recovered from a second property, again in the Manchester area. Arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

It has been reported that regretfully the hounds have lost drastic amounts of weight and have sustained injuries. Welfare Agencies are aware and are working with the team.

In a Facebook post, Greater Manchester Police praised the ‘power of social media’ and added: "The owners have been made aware and the dogs will be reunited with their family soon. Additionally, two adults have been arrested and an investigation is ongoing."

A spokesman for the Westerby Basset Hounds said: “We cannot thank enough those thousands of people who helped us. We are very happy that Drama, Lattice, Landlord and Banish have been found safe. We hope there will be more good news in the following days but in the meantime, please get behind us to help find Bashful because she needs to come home.”

Polly Portwin, a spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance said: “A huge thank you to the thousands of people who helped share our initial appeal on Facebook. The ongoing search for Bashful continues and we would like to ask our supporters to help in those efforts too so that she can be found.”

Ms. Portwin added: “We have witnessed a number of recent thefts of dogs, particularly of working breeds and we urge all dog owners to be incredibly vigilant.”

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