Tony Cronin had two litters of puppies and five other dogs stolen so started his own detective work to try and track them down.
He received a tip-off about a possible location for the alleged criminal gang and drove to the location in Carmarthenshire.
There he discovered 70 stolen dogs worth up to £40,000.
He said: ‘It was very really well hidden which is why they use it, and as we were going up the track a huge group of dogs came out to greet us.
‘There were Westies, Labradors, Pugs – everything running at us barking like mad.
‘Right in the middle of the group was one of my own dogs running towards me, her tail was between her legs as she was frightened.
‘She was quite timid and then she saw me and she ran towards me and leaped into my arms and that was that.’
Thanks to his sleuthing, 22 dogs have now been returned to their owners while another 46 remain in kennels.
There has been a spike in dog-napping cases as demand for dogs soared during lockdown.
Dogs Lost say they have received a 170% increase in calls relating to stolen dogs.
Superintendent Robyn Mason said: ‘Dog theft has certainly increased with more people wanting dogs during the pandemic.’
An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘We would like to remind and reassure the public that our inspectors and rescue officers all wear branded uniforms and carry identification.
‘If one of our officers knocks on your door, please ask to see their ID and check their uniform for branding. Our staff wear navy blue uniforms with the RSPCA logo, as well as white shirts with a black or blue tie and black epaulettes.’
Two people have been arrested and released on bail.
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