Take the lead on dog theft
Since the start of the pandemic, dog thefts have increased exponentially and we’ve seen more and more reports of people having their pets stolen, being threatened, or feeling worried about walking their dogs safely.
DogLost, a UK charity which helps the victims of dog theft, has recorded a 170 per cent increase in the crime between 2019 and 2020; Direct Line estimates that 2,438 dogs were reported as stolen in 2020, the equivalent of seven dogs stolen every day. The surge in demand for ‘pandemic puppies’ has led to an increase in prices for dogs, making dog theft an increasingly lucrative activity.
The theft of a pet is an extremely upsetting and traumatic experience for the owner and can obviously have terrible consequences for the pets themselves. But the law currently doesn’t reflect this. It is ineffective and doesn’t pose any deterrent to determined thieves. The Pet Theft Reform campaign reported that in recent years only 1 per cent of dog theft crimes led to a prosecution, and oftentimes, it’s only a fine.
Often police forces don’t record dog theft as a crime in itself, and report it as a normal burglary or theft, which means we don’t know the true numbers of dog thefts across the country.
Nottinghamshire Police are changing this and have become the first force in the country to appoint a Chief Inspector as a dog theft lead to prevent further dog thefts and show that dog theft is a serious crime.
We want the rest of the country’s police forces to take action against dog theft and follow Nottinghamshire Police’s lead. It's for this reason that we need your help.
Take action against dog theft
With the approaching Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayoral elections on 6 May across England and Wales, we have a unique opportunity to ask our future representatives to take the lead on tackling dog theft and appoint dog theft leads in their police forces.
We need you to put pressure on your candidates to support #dogtheftreform and either send them an email or tweet them your support for our campaign.