Stolen Tilly and Ruby featured in the Bucks free press.

FAMILIES enduring the ‘nightmare’ of pet theft are on the rise, with the number of stolen dogs almost doubling in just two years.

New figures reveal that 85 dogs were reported stolen in the Thames Valley region in 2018, up from 47 in 2016.

DogLost, which collected the statistics from Thames Valley Police, said the rapid surge in numbers was ‘shocking.’

Justine Quirk, a volunteer at the charity, said: “For the past three years, national dog theft figures have grown significantly.

However, we are shocked by the figures shared by Thames Valley Police.

“The families of these stolen dogs live in a constant nightmare, worrying about where their much-loved family member is and whether they are being cared for.”

It is thought the actual number of stolen dogs could be much higher, as some go unreported or remain listed as missing.

Ms Quirk added: “The sad fact is, many of the dogs that we still have listed as missing on our database are likely to have been a victim of theft by finding.”

Last year, a Bucks couple feared their whippet cross Ruby had been stolen after she vanished while out walking.

The desperate family even chartered a helicopter to scour the area for their missing pet.

Read more here…

Follow Tilly’s DogLost timeline here…

And Ruby’s DogLost timeline here…

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