West Yorkshire Police warn residents to be vigilant in light of evidence of an increasing trade in stolen dogs.
By, 2 Apr 2019
In and around Bradford dog thieves are more active than ever.
West Yorkshire Police has received 338 reports of stolen dogs in the last two years and 78 of those have been made by local residents. Tragically, the number of dogs retrieved and returned to their owners numbers only 24. And that raises concerns about what fate has befallen the others.
Angela Pinder, whose dog Luna was stolen in January 2018 says many are forced to participate in dog fights. ‘Small dogs are being stolen all the time,’ she told The Telegraph & Argus, ‘and Staffies (Staffordshire Bull Terriers) are being trained for dog fighting and others are stolen for breeding’.
Angela’s sister-in-law Kathleen Easton has since set up a Facebook group called Help Find Stolen Luna to try and recover their beloved pooch.
Luna was roaming in the back garden of the family house when thieves struck. According to Ms Pinder, ‘a thief climbed over the six foot fence surrounding the garden and unlocked the gate from the inside’.
The theft has not only left the family without their pet, it has also had a lasting psychological impact on Pinder who told the Telegraph & Argus she now has to take antidepressants to help her to overcome the Luna’s absence.
‘It's an absolute nightmare,’ she said. ‘Nobody has any idea what we are going through’.
Of the rising number of dog thefts a spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: ‘we would encourage their owners to get them micro-chipped and ideally keep them indoors or in secure premises when home alone. Where a dog has not been micro-chipped it can be difficult to trace them and return them to their rightful owner.’
The search for Luna continues.