An animal expert recently appeared on ITV's This Morning and urged dog owners to be extra vigilant due to a worrying rise in the number of dog thefts here in the UK.
By, 23 Oct 2019
Experts have seen a spike in dog-napping cases and believe the animals are stolen by heartless criminals who then sell them on for big money.
A worrying new trend
There have even been some reports of pooches being held for ransom, while others end up trapped in the vicious world of dog-fighting.
Dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson recently appeared on ITV's This Morning to warn owners about the dangers of dog-napping. He was joined by Jackie Milson, who had two dogs stolen back in 2016.
In an emotional interview with the show's hosts, Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, Jackie said:
"I'll go on looking. I get photos every day, but they've never been mine. There are so many other people searching for their pets."
After reporting the stolen dogs to police, Jackie received a crime reference number but not other help or guidance.
Dog theft is a crime that authorities rarely investigate. It's generally considered as the same level of offence as bike theft, which is punishable by a £250 fine.
Criminals are clearly taking advantage of the police's lax approach to dog theft. Around five pooches are reported stolen every day, although Stan Rawlinson believes the real number is at a "minimum of ten times more than that." He went onto say:
"This is big money. There are gangs involved in this; the money involved in this is unbelievable."
Keep your pets safe
Stan advises owners to install security cameras and lights and secure any back garden spaces against intruders. He also recommends changing up your walkies route, as some pups have been snatched off the street.
Stan is also campaigning for dog theft to be made a specific crime in the UK. Sign his petition by following this link.
DOG & CAT NEWSShelter desperately asks for help with problem dog