The RSPCA (England & Wales) has urged people to be vigilant following reports of thieves posing as animal welfare officers in a bid to steal dogs and other pets.
There has been a surge in the number of animal thefts during the past year – particularly dogs – due to the value of many breeds and the demand for pets during the lockdown.
The RSPCA is warning people across Wales and the West to check the identity of any officers who come to your home.
The charity’s deputy chief inspector Julie Fadden said: “We’re concerned that people may have been posing as RSPCA inspectors in order to snatch people’s pets, and that’s extremely worrying.
“We would like to remind and reassure the public that our inspectors and rescue officers all wear branded uniforms and carry ID.
“If one of our officers knocks on your door, please ask to see their ID and check their uniform for branding.
“Most of our officers drive either white vans or fully-branded RSPCA vans.”