Owners’ fears over ‘bogus’ RSPCA callers

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Concerns over bogus charity collectors targeting homes in Blackpool to steal dogs are still being reported to police by worried residents.

The Gazette revealed last month how police investigated reports of crooks posing as RSPCA workers, only to find the callers were genuine.

However, rumours continue to circulate, and police last week got a call from a woman who said she had been visited by one such caller who was unable to provide ID when challenged.

The man had gone by the time officers arrived and it remains unclear whether or not he was genuine.

On that occasion, the caller spoke to the female occupier of a home on Sutherland Road, Layton, before allegedly fleeing when threatened with the police.

The woman, who said her friend had a similar experience, told The Gazette the man said he was from the RSPCA and was checking dogs were “being cared for”.

She added: “I asked for ID and he said had left it at home.

“He tried to get past me at the door to see (my dog) Titan and Titan just growled at him and went to bite him.

“He then said my dog is nasty so he was going and would be back later.

“I said ‘OK, I’ll call the police and RSPCA now’ and then he ran off.”

Lancashire Police said the local neighbourhood policing team had been informed.

A spokesman added: “At 12.25pm on January 27, someone phoned saying a man claiming to be from the RSPCA had come to the address.

“He didn’t have any ID and wasn’t wearing a uniform.

“She said she told she was going to call the police and he ran away.

“We are aware of it and we have been to the area to have a look around, but not found anything.”

Anybody who sees anything suspicious or is concerned should call police on 101.