Dog theft UK: Pet owners are victims of 170% increase in dog theft during lockdown | UK | News (Reports)

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Samantha Hatton’s 18-month-old beagle, Star, was stolen from her home in Rochdale last month when thieves broke in late at night whilst she was in the bath.

Samantha reported the theft to the police and she now spends her days searching for her missing pup. She told ITV: “Just looking at her empty bed is really hard. I have had to move it out of the way because it was so upsetting. I miss her dearly and I want her home.”

Star is white and tan with a distinctive love heart on her left side.

According to the charity Doglost, pet thefts have reportedly risen from 172 dogs in 2019 to 465 in 2020, a rise of 170 percent. They also state that only 1 percent of thieves end up in court as punishment is usually a fine or community service.

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Amanda Blakeman, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), told the Independent: “It’s something we have seen increasing recently. During the coronavirus pandemic, criminals are taking advantage of the big demand for pets and their rising cost.”

DogsTrust reports that prices for English bulldogs have increased by 49 percent, 73 percent for dachshunds and 78 percent for pugs, to name a few.

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The Blue Cross animal charity provides these tips to prevent your dog from being stolen:

  • Do not leave your pet in places where they are easily accessible for thieves such as outside a shop, alone in a car or in a garden with poor fencing.
  •  Lock your doors and secure your windows when your pet is unattended
  • Keep a close eye on your pet during walks
  • Do not reveal your home or frequently visited locations on social media
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