Dog theft is up by 19% since lockdowns began. Experts believe it's due to an increased demand for puppies and lax sentencing guidelines that make dog theft a high risk, low reward crime. Some in-demand breeds can fetch as much as £1,000.
Pooch lovers and animal charities have been demanding change for months, including making dog theft a specific offence with a harsher custodial sentence. After all, dogs aren't our 'property.' These little furballs are part of our families!
Boris Johnson joins the fight against dog napping
And, at last, it looks like the government is about to do something about this callous crime. Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland recently set up a pet theft task force, and it's just received the full backing of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson, who shares 10 Downing Street with fiance Carrie Symonds and their Jack Russell Dilyn, announced his support in a Daily Mail article.
Expect more news soon
The Theft Act of 1968 treats dogs like inanimate objects. So in the eyes of the law, stealing a pup is like snatching a mobile phone. There's no regard for the emotional stress, nor the role dogs play in our lives.
The new pet theft task force is a cross-party coalition of government officials, civil servants, and junior ministers. It's already working on ways to change the law and reduce the number of dog thefts. More announcements are expected in due course.