Dog warning: Breeds most likely to be targeted by snatchers as thefts at record high

Kay Burley says dog theft ‘makes my blood boil’

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The research by Pet Keen comes as dog thefts in the UK are at a seven-year high amid soaring demand for puppies during lockdown. It found that Frenchies are the breed most likely to be pinched.

English Bulldogs come in second place and Yorkshire Terriers third.

Chihuahuas and German Shepherds are fourth and fifth respectively.

Maltese and Shih Tzus are sixth and seventh, followed by Labrador Retrievers and poodles in eighth and ninth place.

Siberian Huskys are ranked tenth on the list of breeds most likely to be targeted by snatchers.

The research comes after data released last month showed dog thefts are at record levels.

The number of pooches stolen in 2021 rose by 13 percent to 2,760, according to Freedom of Information data compiled by Direct Line Pet Insurance.

The figure is the equivalent of eight dogs being taken from their owners every day.

It is the highest number since Direct Line Pet Insurance began tallying up pet thefts in 2015.

The jump has been blamed on high demand for puppies during the Covid pandemic leading to skyrocketing prices.

Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “It’s devastating to see the number of dogs stolen continues to increase across the country.

“Unfortunately, the increase in dog ownership since the pandemic began and the subsequent rise in prices of these animals seems to make the crime even more appealing to thieves.

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“The law will soon recognise dogs as members of the family with feelings, not just owned property and we hope that this will deter criminals, especially if they can be punished more severely if prosecuted.

“Anyone considering buying a dog should thoroughly check its provenance and see the dog with its mother, to ensure they’re not buying from a criminal organisation.

“And taking simple precautions such as not leaving your dog tied up outside a shop, left inside an empty car or keeping it on the lead when in busy areas, will help reduce the likelihood of being targeted.

“It’s also vital to keep microchipping contact details up to date in case your dog does go missing and is handed in.”

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