Dogs Trust comment: Dog Theft
We urge dog owners to be vigilant when leaving their dogs unattended and never to tie them up outside shops. Having your dog neutered can help prevent them from being stolen as neutering makes dogs less likely to stray, and makes male dogs (lacking obvious reproductive organs) less attractive to dog thieves for breeding. Microchipping is the most effective way to assist in a lost dog being returned to their owner but it is important to ensure that the chip is registered with an appropriate database and details kept up to date.
Sadly, dog theft is on the increase. We believe existing sentencing does nothing to act as a deterrent to thieves. Currently, dogs are treated like any other form of property and, as such, paltry fines are mostly given. We want the Sentencing Council to recognise dogs as part of the family and acknowledge the emotional impact of dog theft. Linked to this, we want an increase in sentencing so, at the bare minimum, a community order or prison sentence is given, not a fine.