Kay Burley says dog theft ‘makes my blood boil’

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Recent data released by the Metropolitan Police shows that there were as many as 422 dog thefts in the capital last year.

Dog thefts last year hit a record of 2,760 across England and Wales, up to 13 percent from the year before from 2,438 in 2020.

Figures reveal that London has a significantly higher number of thefts than other parts of the country.

Direct Line has been collecting data since 2015 and found that dog thefts increased between 2015 to 2018, then fell briefly in 2019 but increased sharply as the pandemic began.

The amount of dog thefts were more than double the number of incidents reported by West Yorkshire Police which had the second-highest number at 199.

Kent Police received 182, Lancashire Constabulary had 116 and South Yorkshire Police had 100.

French Bulldogs, which are the second most popular breed in the UK, are one of the most commonly stolen dogs, along with Jack Russell Terriers.

Around 45 French Bulldogs were nabbed last year, this is a 29 percent increase from the 25 stolen in the previous year.

Jack Russells are a less popular breed in the UK but the thefts of them were up a huge 140 percent last year, up from just 10 in 2020.

According to the data from Direct Line Pet Insurance, American Bulldogs, Chihuahuas and Pugs were also some of the most stolen dogs.

However, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, which were the most commonly stolen dogs in 2021 saw a decrease of 88 percent in thefts last year.

Veterinary Nurse Madeline Pike said: “It’s devastating to see the number of dogs stolen continues to increase across the country.

“Unfortunately, the increase in dog ownership since the pandemic began and the subsequent rise in prices of these animals seems to make the crime even more appealing to thieves.

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“The law will soon recognise dogs as members of the family with feelings, not just owned property and we hope that this will deter criminals, especially if they can be punished more severely if prosecuted”.

She added: “Anyone considering buying a dog should thoroughly check its provenance and see the dog with its mother, to ensure they’re not buying from a criminal organisation.

“And taking simple precautions such as not leaving your dog tied up outside a shop, left inside an empty car or keeping it on the lead when in busy areas, will help reduce the likelihood of being targeted.

“It’s also vital to keep microchipping contact details up to date in case your dog does go missing and is handed in.”

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