THE hunt is underway today to find Hampshire's most wanted pet owner.

Council chiefs, police and the RSPCA have ramped up their search to find those who dumped eight helpless puppies and their mum on roadsides across Hampshire, caked in filth and so ill they could barely stand or see.

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The Daily Echo's story, shocking images and video of the pets has sparked such outrage among animal lovers that it has been viewed across the world.

Now sickened readers are throwing their weight behind a Daily Echo reward appeal we have launched, in the hope those responsible will be brought to justice.

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And already donations are pouring in - including a couple so disgusted by what has happened they have given £2,000 - which will eventually be handed to the RSPCA once whoever is responsible is brought to justice.

Our appeal has also received the backing of the Kennel Club, which promotes well-being of dogs.

A spokesperson said: “We are absolutely appalled to hear about the treatment and consequent abandonment of these dogs.

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“We support the search to find their owners and call for them to be brought to justice. We firmly believe that the owners of these dogs should do the decent thing and come forward and take responsibility for these poorly treated animals.

“Dogs are known as man's best friend and should be treated as such.”

Dog breeder Karen Wilton, based in Winchester, added: “No animal deserves to be treated in this way those responsible need to be tracked down to find out how they came to be in this state.”

Eight of the nine dumped dogs were one-year-old poodle-crosses, it was revealed yesterday.

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They and their eight-year-old mother were found in rural streets - some as far as six miles apart - with their fur so badly matted it weighed almost nine kilos each.

They were unable to see or stand properly and some had stones wedged between their toes which stopped them from walking.

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As reported, two of the animals were found in Longwood Dean Lane, Upham, three in Lower Baybridge Lane, near Owslebury, three in Morestead Road and one in Alresford.

David Moxon, chairman of the Winchester City District Training Club, said: "This is a horrendous case. It sounds like someone had a bitch in season and tried to run them on, but could not cope, and did not know what they were getting themselves into. Nine dogs would be a bit of a challenge."

Shops and businesses have also backed the campaign by placing the Daily Echo “wanted” posters in their windows.

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Chris Stevenson (above), manager of Pets Corner, in Andover Road, Winchester, said: "I'm happy to do whatever I can to support the Daily Echo campaign because Pets Corner itself has very strong views about animal cruelty and welfare.

"I've got two dogs myself. I'm appalled by it. How anyone would be able to actually treat a dog like that? There are no words for it."

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Resident Caryn Garabette also took a poster and said: "I really hope they find these people, it's disgusting.”

Four of the dogs are now being kept with city council dog wardens and another four were last night still being treated by vets.

RSPCA officer Jan Edwards has said the money could help fund DNA and blood tests, x-rays and further medical attention.


The Daily Echo has set up a JustGiving page for readers to donate towards the hunt in finding the owners of these nine dumped dogs.

Once the owner is found, the money will be donated to the RSPCA.

To donate, click here.