Rise in Dog Theft
More than 5,000 dogs have been reported to the police as stolen in England and Wales since the start of 2013, a BBC investigation has found. This is a rise of 22.3% in two years.
Reported dog theft stats are:
- 1,490 in 2013
- 1,599 in 2014
- 1,776 in 2015
- 423 in the first 4 months of 2016
The investigation also suggests that the most 'desired' breeds by thieves and therefore most likely to be targeted are Staffordshire Bull Terriers and small/toy 'designer' breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs.
Conservative MP Gareth Johnson has called for a specific crime of pet theft to be introduced. He wants the government to recognise the effect dog theft can have on owners, stating that stealing a dog is "currently deemed no more serious than stealing other possessions".
However, the Ministry of Justice said: "We are aware of the distress the disappearance of a pet can cause, especially if there are suspicions it has been stolen. The maximum penalty for theft is seven years imprisonment and there are no plans to change this".
If your dog gets lost or is stolen, there are some things you can do. Our article Lost Dog - Things You Can Do includes advice on prevention and finding your lost dog.