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Spate of Maremma dog thefts from Yarra Ranges farms spark dog fighting fears

There has been a spate of dog thefts from farms in the Yarra Ranges Shire in recent weeks, sparking fears the animals are being snatched for dog fighting.

Sheepis the Maremma Sheepdog was taken from a farm in Coldstream last week.

His owner, Michael Apostoladis, says his dog isn’t the only Maremma stolen from the region in recent weeks.

He says dogs have also stolen from Silvan, Gruyere and Yellingbo.

“I’m told about five have gone missing,” he told Neil Mitchell.

Mr Apostoladis says he last saw 12-year-old Sheepis on Wednesday and he’s fears he may have been taken for dog fighting.

“I walked with him around the dam on Wednesday and he was bit unhappy because it’s lambing time, and that’s the only time I saw him,” he said.

“He protects them. He watches over the lambs.

“I’ve got this feeling that he could’ve been taken for dog fights.”

The theft has been reported to police, who are investigating.

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