Why your pet is at risk of being stolen

Concern grows as Petsearch UK reveal that the number of dogs stolen in Britain is increasing

Dognapping has become increasingly common in the 21st century. In the past pets went missing because they had run off or escaped, but today it seems that many are stolen to order

It is every owner’s worst nightmare to discover their dog is missing, but it’s even more heartbreaking when they discover their pet has been stolen.

Paula Greaves is the founder of the Petsearch UK, a national organisation set up in 1990 to unite lost pets with their owners. She says that the number of dogs being stolen is increasing.

“We don’t have any national statistics, but all our regional centres keep their own figures and the number of dogs being reported stolen is definitely on the up,” she says.

Typically dogs are stolen for two reasons – either for fighting or for breeding. Breeds most commonly taken for fighting are Bull Terriers, although Lurchers are often taken to participate in illegal hare coursing.

Bitches are taken for breeding purposes as even without papers puppies can fetch upwards of £100.

There have also been cases of dogs being stolen and then held to ransom.

“Owners are sometimes very foolish,” says Paula. “They leave their dogs tied up outside supermarkets or out in their gardens, which makes it very easy for a thief to take them.”

Paula receives more than 40 calls a day from people who have either lost or found pets.

“We have around a 70% success rate at reuniting owners with their animals, but it is much harder to find dogs that have been stolen.,” explains Paula.

For more information on Petsearch UK click here to visit their website.

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