Dog Thefts On The Rise By More Than 50%
Since the first UK lockdown was announced at the end of last March, The Kennel Club has reported a 168% increase in the search for puppies.
Lockdown has provided many families with the perfect opportunity to add a four-legged member to their home, which in turn has led the demand and prices of litters to soar. The price of puppies has more than doubled with dogs costing almost £1,900 on average. Popular breeds such as Cavapoo's and Cockapoo's now typically cost between £2,800 and £3,000 on the popular site Pets4Homes.
This increase in price does somewhat effectively deter people from purchasing a puppy as an impulse buy. However, on the other hand, the price of dogs has led to a significant rise in pet thefts as thieves see a golden opportunity to re-sell stolen puppies for a exponentially high price.
Among many of our local Facebook groups - Garforth News & Events, Micklefield Community and Dog Friendly Leeds to name a few - there's a recurring stream of posts regarding dogs that have being stolen.
Within the last couple of days, a Cocker Spaniel by the name of Flora has been snatched from outside a Co-op supermarket in Outwood, Wakefield.
Over in South Milford, there's been a report of a suspicious car with stolen registration plates pulling up outside a family home. The two men inside were seen getting out of the car carrying blankets and a basket, in a clear bid to steal two dogs that were loose in the garden. Thankfully, the dogs started barking which alerted the owner who saw the two men quickly driving off.
Over in Huddersfield, a German Shepherd named Lexi has been stolen overnight from a yard which was broken into. Only Lexi was stolen but the owners other dog, a male German Shepherd who was also outside, was attacked with fence posts, bars and a hammer. The dog is now on the mend and will thankfully recover from its horrendous injuries, however there's sadly no update on Lexi's whereabouts.
Keep your dogs safe.
Keeping your dogs safe goes without saying... but with dog thefts significantly on the rise, we are reminding you to be extra cautious.
- Consider accompanying your young child if they go for walks with the dog. Many people have reported dogs been stolen in broad daylight and young children walking them alone is an easy target for thieves.
- Don't leave your dog alone outside. Many of the recent dog thefts have involved dogs been taken from driveways and front gardens. Bring them inside if you cannot watch over them.
- Keep your dogs microchip up to date with the correct address and phone number. If out on a walk, it's the law to ensure your dog has a ID tag on their collar or harness, displaying your name, house number and postcode.
- Don't leave your dog tied up outside shops. It's as easy as 1-2-3 for somebody to untie them and walk off, or put them into a car and drive away. Nobody else would think to question that the dog isn't theirs.
- If you are a breeder, do not publicly display your home address or provide too many address details online. There have been recent cases where entire litters have been stolen from homes, especially those kept in outhouses.
As we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic and a puppy boom, stay safe, keep your puppies close and always wear your common sense hat!