Time to read: 8 mins
As pet ownership has increased in the last couple of years, we are sad to say that pet theft has risen with it. A study done by Sussex police and crime commission surveyed over 120,000 pet owners. The results came back with the resounding answer that pet theft has become a serious issue and, as a whole, pet owners do not feel that the punishment fits the crime.
Key findings from the survey:
- 170% increase in dog theft from 2019
- 97% of people thinking dog theft is a serious problem
- 22% know of or had a dog stolen
- 83% of people are more fearful of taking their dog for a walk
While dognapping is a crime that gets reported, these crimes are hard to prove. Currently only 1% of dog theft crimes actually leads to prosecution. That being said, there have been serious inroads to bring people who harm or put animals in danger to justice. According to BBC, in November last year a law was passed that has increased the maximum penalty for animal cruelty. The sentence that used to be 12 months behind bars has gone up to 5 years. In addition to this, courts have the ability to impose an unlimited number of fines for the worst perpetrators. These increased sentences are positive step in the right direction to keeping cats and dogs across the country safe.
Ways to avoid pet theft:
1. As soon as you are able to, your pet should be chipped as well as having a collar with an identification tag.
2. Never leave your dog unattended. When taking your dog for a walk, don’t take your eyes off them whether they are walking around or are tied up. Someone could easily come by and snatch them in a matter of seconds.
3. Make sure your home is safe and that the gates and fences are always closed. This will keep your dog safe from the outdoors as well as safe from people that are looking to lure them out of your property.
If the unspeakable happens and your pet does end up going missing we may be able to cover you for loss and recovery up to your policy limits. We want your pets to be as safe as possible. Have a look at our wide range of cover levels to find cover that suits you and your pets best.