Hold on to that pooch. Dog theft on the rise
Certain breeds are more vulnerable than others, with Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs and Jack Russell Terriers particularly susceptible.
Direct Line Pet Insurance research showed the number dogs stolen increased from 1,879 in 2017 to 1,959 in 2018, with only 17% of stolen pups returned to their owners
The Metropolitan Police Service saw the highest number of stolen dogs, at 304 with West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Police also reporting higher numbers. The Direct Line research showed numbers rising over the last four years.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was the most targeted breed by criminals in 2018, with 88 reported thefts over the year. Crossbreeds are also popular with dognappers, which may be due to the popularity of ‘designer’ dog breeds like Labradoodles and Puggles. Chihuahuas are also a target, with an 18% increase in thefts from 2017. There has also been a rise in the number of Jack Russell Terriers (up 15%) and Pugs (up 600%) stolen.
Eva Sandstra-Bennett, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said: “It is heart-breaking to see there are still so many dogs stolen each year and the numbers are continuing to rise. Dogs are a huge part of the family, so it causes real distress and trauma when they are stolen. Unfortunately, the popularity of designer dog breeds and flat faced dogs means they are highly desirable for thieves, as they are easily identifiable and can be sold on for thousands of pounds. Owners of these breeds should be particularly vigilant and aware of situations that make it easier for thieves. This can include leaving them locked in cars, tied up outside a shop or allowing them off the lead out of sight.”