Pet abduction to become a criminal offence

Defra's Pet Theft Taskforce has announced how pet abduction will be made a new criminal offence, alongside other key recommendations about how they will tackle pet theft. Dogs Trust welcomes this news as it will allow courts to hand out tougher sentences in cases where a pet has been stolen.

Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust, said   

“Having your beloved pet stolen is an extremely stressful, often heart-breaking experience. For years, Dogs Trust has called for harsher penalties to deter those who profit from this despicable crime. We wholeheartedly welcome the measures the Government has taken today to tackle pet theft and prioritise the welfare of our pets as sentient beings, and very much hope that the increased sentencing will make pet thieves think twice.” 

Here's some of our top tips to prevent your dog from being stolen:

  • Many dogs are taken from homes and gardens every year so making sure our gardens are secure along with our homes, is a priority for dog owners. Ideally a dog shouldn’t be left on their own in the garden. 
  • Never leave your dog unattended when you’re out and about and always keep them in sight.  
  • Make sure they are trained to come back to you, however distracted they might be. 
  • Ensure your dog is microchipped. Having your dog microchipped, and keeping your contact details up to date, gives you the best chance of having your dog returned to you if the worst happens. 
  • Walk in well-lit areas, vary your routes and stay vigilant. 
  • Walk your dog on a shorter lead and away from the roadside.