The Irish Greyhound Board is warning greyhound owners to be extra vigilant after at least seven dogs were reported stolen in the South East, including Waterford.
The dogs, ranging from between 6 months to 8 years old, have been taken from Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford recently.
Two of the dogs taken from Kilkenny have since been recovered, but greyhound owners are advised to remain on high alert.
Welfare Officer with the IGB, Deirdre Scally, said: “It is important for greyhound owners to ensure they have secured any property where their greyhounds are kept.
"Regular checks on the property are vital together with using appropriate gate/door locks and alarm systems where possible. Good security should be in accordance with the IGB’s Code of Practice in the Care and Welfare of the Greyhound, which is available to view on the IGB’s website.
"Thieves are deterred by good security measures. It is important for owners to report any suspicious activity around their own property or that of another greyhound owner to the Gardai immediately."
She added: “Greyhound welfare and keeping greyhounds safe and well is a top priority for the IGB as part of continued regulation of the industry.
"The IGB is concerned that stolen greyhounds may be held in an environment that is detrimental to their welfare.”
The Irish Greyhound Board is liaising with local animal rescue organisations on this matter.