THREE people have been arrested and 27 dogs seized following a warrant in Dunmow as part of an investigation into dog thefts.

Essex Police offficers, supported by the RSPCA, carried out the warrant at an address in Braintree Road on April 1.

The force seized 27 dogs, 19 adults and eight puppies, including spaniels, lurchers, terriers, a French bulldog, and a rottweiler.

It is believed the puppies, which are between six and 10 weeks old, may have been born on site.

Officers are currently in the process of identifying the dogs and establishing if they are stolen - if they are, Essex Police will then work to identify their owners.

Three people – a 54 year-old woman and two boys aged 14 and 16 – were arrested on suspicion of theft and animal cruelty following the raid.

They have since been released under investigation.

PC Glenn Braden, from the Uttlesford Community Policing Team, said: “We know the devastation the loss of a much-loved pet can cause and we take reports of thefts seriously.

“We have been carrying out extensive enquiries into recent reports of thefts and this warrant comes as part of that.

“We are now working to identify the dogs we found at this address and, if stolen, identify their owner so we can return them.

“If you have any information about the theft of a dog then we need you to contact us.”

If you have any information about the theft of dogs or believe one of the seized dogs may be yours, call Essex Police on 101 quoting incident 136 of 1 April.

Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.