Pet theft is on the rise, with more than 60 dogs stolen in the UK every week!
For those of you who read our article: ‘Keep Your Pets Safe’ in our Autumn issue, we thought you might be interested in this additional information recently received at the Living Magazines office about SAMPA – the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance.
Almost half of UK households have a pet at the heart of their family. And each and every one could be a potential victim of pet theft. Freedom of information requests to UK police forces prove dog thefts are on the rise. In 2013, 1,491 dogs were reported stolen, 1,599 in 2014, 1,776 in 2015, and 1,774 in 2016.
But these figures only scratch the surface, because the reality is that police forces record this crime differently across the country. Pet thefts are often categorised as robbery or burglary – hiding the true extent of the problem.
In fact, more than 60 dogs are stolen in England and Wales every week, and the number of pets stolen has increased by nearly 24% over the past three years. Dog thefts increasingly feature in the national media, usually with focus on social media campaigns to reunite families with individual animals. 52% of dogs are stolen from gardens.
In April 2016, microchipping dogs became compulsory across the UK. In theory, this should mean that lost or stolen dogs can be scanned and easily returned to their family. In reality, it is not compulsory for veterinary practices and animal welfare authorities to scan the dogs they come into contact with nor to check microchips. To make matters more complicated, there are ten approved microchip databases – the largest being PetLog.
If you missed it, you can read our article online here.