According to the Pet Theft Taskforce Report issued in September 2021, it is estimated that there were around 2000 incidents of dog theft reported in England and Wales in 2020.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel declared
Stealing a pet from its loving owners is a particularly cruel crime, causing heartbreak for families and great distress for the pet. There have been very concerning reports about an increase in the number of these crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by a rise in the price of some of our most beloved breeds. This is a serious crime that has to be prevented.
The report further cites that the growth in demand for dogs together with significant price rises during the Covid lockdown may have triggered the increase in dogs being stolen.
So what are the most commonly stolen dogs in the UK?
Data produced by insurance company money.co.uk based on Freedom of Information requests to police forces in England and Wales found the top ten stolen breeds over the past five years were
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- French Bulldog
- Jack Russell
- German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian)
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- American Bulldog
Other breeds that make the list include Labradors and golden retrievers, huskies and poodles and poodle crosses.
If you are concerned about the possibility of your dog becoming the victim of dog snatchers there are steps you can take to reduce the risk – see our blog ‘How to Prevent your dog being stolen’. This includes having your dog DNA profiled and registering your dog’s DNA test on on Cellmark’s Forensic Dog DNA Database, an approach recommended in the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce Report. Not only could this help in reuniting you and your dog in the event that he or she is stolen, DNA Protected could also help prevent dog theft. By purchasing accessories such as Cellmark’s high visibility anti-dog theft lead , collar and window stickers the DNA Protected service acts as a dog theft prevention device, by showing dog thieves that you have taken steps to protect your four-legged friend from being stolen.