An increasing number of dogs are being stolen from their homes despite efforts to mandate microchipping in the household pets.
38 per cent of all reportedly lost animals have in fact been stolen, and as much as 60 per cent of stolen animals are never found, the Missing Pets Bureau concluded. While microchipping pets was a mandatory implement across the UK as of April 2016, the number of irretrievable pets continues to rise. According to Dog Lost, the UK’s biggest website for missing pets, the number of reported thefts has skyrocketed since 2017.
Max Ferrari’s 11-month-old Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua Cross, Scooby, was one of the most recent victims of burglary. Ferrari told BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that the loss her family experienced has been overwhelming.
“Every morning when you wake up it’s like it’s happened all over again,” she said. “It’s the first thing on your mind, ‘Where is he? Is he being looked after? Are they being kind to him?’.”
A total of 217 dogs were reported as stolen on Dog Lost last year, and another 32 have been added to that list during the first weeks of 2018. The Missing Pets Bureau also found that pedigree pets are the greatest risk due to the high costs associated with the breed.
The increase reportedly follows better protocol followed by police forces, but since many victims do not report their dog as stolen, the actual number is said to be much higher.
Twitter user Spaniels Rule took to social media to share their disappointment in the police force’s lack of attention towards the growing number of stolen pets, saying:
police don't have time for stolen dogs sadly, it's low on their priority list – hence DogLost and the Pet detective etc.
how does vet keep dog and owner at surgery if it comes up as stolen. again I'm not disagreeing just trying to think it through to end
— Spaniels Rule (@sgrenyer21) February 12, 2018
There is also a Pet Theft petition circulating on Twitter in an effort to bring down the acclimating numbers of stolen pets throughout the UK, as tweeted by Pet Theft Awareness:
Have you signed the #UK Pet Theft Petition?
Reclassify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right
Please share and help us reach 100,000 signatures by 8 August 2018https://t.co/9YntdY42wr … #PetsAreFamily #PetTheft #DogTheft pic.twitter.com/LP22czbU2E
— Pet Theft Awareness (@pettheftaware) February 12, 2018
The Missing Pets Bureau stresses the importance of dog owners keeping their dogs safe, and to report a missing pet to 0800 096 6606.
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