Dogs Trust reaction to the Pet Theft Taskforce’s new recommendations

A new criminal offence for pet abduction is set to be introduced under government plans to crack down on pet theft following a reported rise in pets being stolen during the pandemic. The new law will recognise the welfare of animals and that pets are valued as more than property.

Claire Calder, Head of Public Affairs, says:

“We’re thrilled about the introduction of a new pet abduction offence announced as one of the key recommendations made by the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce today. Our dogs play such a huge and important part in our lives but sadly many are stolen each year, which is absolutely heart breaking.  Any action to urgently tackle this growing issue is a step in the right direction.”

“A specific offence for pet abduction would allow courts to hand out tougher sentences in cases where a pet is stolen. Current sentencing does very little to deter thieves and is determined by the monetary value of the dog, meaning perpetrators are often given fines which do not reflect the emotional impact and trauma that dog theft has on the families involved.”

"We hope the recommendations made by the Pet Theft Taskforce will lead to increased sentences that serve as a greater deterrent to those committing these awful crimes, protect more dogs from harm and, ultimately, end the heartache owners endure when their pets are cruelly taken away from them.”