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Cricketer justifies stealing spree

A Hoggshire League batsman who stole dogs from an animal shelter for profit faces criminal prosecution.

Gary Clump, 41, stole the animals while working as a volunteer at 'Yelp', a dog shelter in Nettles Green.

Although Clump readily admits taking up to 200 dogs, he refuses to accept that he did anything wrong and maintains that he acted in the animals' best interests.

"Hoggshire dogs have something of a bad reputation," argued Clump.

"No one has adopted a Yelp dog since last year's rabies outbreak. Staff are so poorly paid that they eat most of the food that is donated and compliment their earnings by selling off the kennels for firewood. The place had become something of a canine Alcatraz and I was the dogs' best chance of freedom.

"So as long as I was discrete staff pretty much let me help myself."

"No one ever asked why my work bag had breathing holes."

Clump claims staff turned a blind eye whenever he was caught in the act: "I had just shoved an Irish Setter and a Dalmatian down the front of my overalls and was making a beeline for my car when I ran into one of our vets.

"The dogs proceeded to have a ferocious fight while the two of us engaged in small-talk about the weather. She (the vet) pretended not to notice and even opened the gate for me to leave."

On another occasion Clump says that at least ten staff members looked the other way as he repacked an escaped dog into his lunchbox.

"It was lunch time and everyone was in the kitchen," remembers Clump.

"I dropped my lunchbox in clear sight of everyone. A Jack Russell puppy leapt out when it hit the ground and proceeded to tear my trousers in order to get to the Yorkshire Terrier I had strapped to my leg.

"It took at least five minutes before I had the situation under control. No one batted an eyelid".

One Yelp volunteer who wishes to remain anonymous has spoken out in support of Clump. "Dogs from this part of the country are easily the worst in Britain," she claimed.

"They are usually diseased and often cross bred with pigs or other farm animals. By taking them away and cosmetically enhancing their appearance, Clump gave them the only chance they will ever have of becoming a pet. If he can make a couple of 'bob' in the process then good luck to him."

The beautification process is said to involve fitting dogs with glass eyes, false teeth, fake tails, and even painting smiles on their faces.

One person who has seen Clump's handiwork close up is Mrs Edith Drabb, a disabled pensioner, who claims she was taken advantage of.

"I paid him £125 for what I was led to believe was a Great Dane called Cathy," complains Mrs Drabb.

"The poor thing toppled over the very first time I patted her because she had been propped up with four wooden legs. That's when I discovered he'd conned me into buying a one-eared autistic sausage dog in need of around the clock care.

"She would starve to death if I didn't chew her food for her."

Clump is due to appear at Nettles Green Crown Court later this month.