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  • Writer's pictureLinda Andrews - Editorial Assistant, Nuse Online

Pet Owners To Stay Vigilant As Dog Theft Cases Surge

Every year in the UK, about 2,000 dogs are stolen. That's roughly 5 dogs taken from their owners every day. These statistics not only highlight the alarming numbers of dog thefts but also emphasise the emotional distress for families and their beloved pets.

Each stolen dog represents not just a loss of property, but a loss of companionship, trust, love and security. These numbers show the urgent need for joint efforts to raise awareness, implement stronger legislation, and empower pet owners with the knowledge to protect their furry friends from such devastating incidents.

James Whitten, Marketing Manager at petGuard says:

“It is every pet owner’s worst fear. The thought of our beloved pets being stolen from us doesn’t bear thinking about but is a nightmare that more and more pet owners are experiencing.”

Leading pet insurer petGuard wants to spread awareness about the surge in dog theft and new laws being introduced to tackle this ongoing issue.

Dog theft has been on the rise in the UK

In 2023, there were 2,290 cases of dog theft recorded across the UK, with 359 of them happening in London alone. This marks an alarming 6% increase compared to the previous year. Sadly, only a small number of stolen dogs have been reunited with their owners. It highlights the urgent need for action to address the growing problem of dog theft and improve the chances of pets being returned to their families.

What will the new law do to tackle dog theft?

Under the proposed changes, the government will introduce a new ‘pet abduction’ offence which will mean that pet theft is no longer treated as loss of property. Instead, the new Pet Abduction Bill law shows that pets mean far more to their owners than property.

According to, under the proposed Pet Abduction Bill individuals convicted of pet theft could be sentenced to a maximum of five years along with a monetary penalty. This new law was presented to the House of Commons in December 2023 and its second reading took place in January this year.

The new Pet Abduction Bill will also looks to make identifying and tracking cases of pet theft easier by introducing new microchipping requirements for dogs and making microchipping compulsory for cats too.

“There are many steps you can take to keep your dog safe. At petGuard, we’re serious about providing cover for your beloved companion“ adds Whitten."


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