A MAN has been found guilty of trying to steal his own dogs back from an animal shelter.

Alan Gair's Black Labrador Jessie, and Australian Shepherd Max, were stolen from the back garden of his home in October 2012, but were found by the dog warden service, who took them to a local animal shelter.

However, when the father-of-four was told he would have to pay £176 to release his own pets, he took the law into his own hands.

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Newcastle Magistrates Court heard how Mr Gair, from Gosforth, Newcastle, made his way to the Benton North Farm shelter in the early hours of October 31, 2012, when police stopped him.

Officers searched the 26-year-old and found a crowbar, a saw, rubber gloves and two torches in his backpack.

He was arrested and charged with one count of going equipped for burglary.

During his trial Mr Gair admitted he was trying to get his dogs back, but pleaded not guilty, saying he was only trying to claim back what was his.

He was found guilty after a day-long trial.

Gair was given a two-year criminal discharge for the offence.

The chairman told him: "We do empathise with your situation."

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