Could changing the law end Britain’s dog theft epidemic?

As dog thefts soar over lockdown, meet the people fighting to bring Britain’s stolen pets home.

(By Ellie Brown for SWLondoner)

Dog theft is a crime that is striking in its cruelty, and it is a growing problem.

In the UK, five dogs are reported stolen every day.

Since 2015, reports of dog theft have increased almost every year.

The pandemic has only made things worse.

Responses by over half of UK police forces to Freedom of Information requests show that in the months after the March lockdown, dog thefts were up by 66% compared to the year before.

Demand for dogs has soared in the past year, as people want lockdown companions.

For activists and supporters of the campaign for Pet Theft Reform, the solution is simple – change the law.

Since 2016, campaigners have been lobbying to amend the UK’s theft, animal welfare and microchipping laws.

Their key goals are to make pet theft a crime in its own right, give tougher punishments to criminals who are charged with it, and make it compulsory for vets to scan animals at first presentation.

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