Man and woman charged in connection with the theft of 85 dogs
- Credit: Archant
A woman and a man have been charged after more than 80 dogs were found at West Meadows in Ipswich.
Six people were arrested following an operation that recovered 85 dogs of different breeds and ages from the site in Ipswich on Saturday, March 20.
Maria Lee, 47, of West Meadows, has today been charged with five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, one count of failure to be responsible for animals to ensure their welfare under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and one count of aiding or abetting a breach of a disqualification imposed after conviction.
Aiding or abetting a breach of a disqualification imposed after conviction means knowing someone is disqualified from keeping animals but continues to allow that person to continue to keep animals and assists in keeping them.
Stacy Humphrys, 34, of West Meadows, has been charged with two counts of a breach of disqualification from keeping an animal after conviction and one count of failure to be responsible for animals to ensure their welfare under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Both are on bail and will appear before Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday, July 23 at 9.15am.
A 39-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman are still under investigation after being released pending further enquiries.
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Two other people have been released and will face no further action.
Detective chief inspector Nicola Wallace, senior investigating officer for the operation, said earlier this month that Suffolk police is liaising with other forces around the country as investigations continue.
She said: “Since we published the 48 images of the dogs, officers have been working through over 200 enquiries in order to establish ownership claims.
"We still have a number of enquiries that are still being followed up. Suffolk is not unique in dealing with such an investigation and we are liaising with other police forces nationally to progress the enquiries.
“The health and welfare of the dogs also remains a priority and we continue to work with various partners, dog charities and rehoming centres."
Anyone who may have information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich, quoting reference: 13719/21.