Puppy Advice

Owners warned to be on their guard to prevent pet theft

March 14th 2024 is #DogTheftAwarenessDay, which marks the start of Pet Theft Awareness Week (14th-21st March 2024) with a reminder to owners not to leave dogs unattended.

Owners warned to be on their guard to prevent pet theft

The Stolen and Missing Pet Alliance warns that any breed of dog can be stolen but designer toy breeds and gun dogs are particular targets. The advice to dog owners is to be on your guard at home and when out as statistics reveal that:

  • 52% of dogs are stolen from gardens
  • 19% are stolen from people’s homes
  • 16% are taken from owners when walking their dogs
  • 7% when tethered outside shops
  • 5% are stolen from cars. 

You can protect your dog from theft by: 

  • Making sure your garden is secure so your dog can’t get out and no one can get in
  • Not leaving your dog unattended outside a shop or alone in a vehicle.

Read our guide on preventing dog theft for more tips on keeping your dog safe


Take action

There are calls for tougher penalties for perpetrators of pet theft. Under UK law, the theft of a pet falls under the Theft Act 1968. Pets are regarded as inanimate objects when stolen and sentencing of perpetrators is based on the value of the pet. 

In 2020 a petition called on the UK government to make pet theft a specific crime with custodial sentences and for the monetary value of a pet to be irrelevant. 

Read this story: Social media helped to find my lost dog

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