From Dog World:
DOG THEFT is said to have risen by 24 per cent over the last three years, and as a result the issue is being raised among UK MPs in March this year.
Once an opportunistic crime, dog theft is now well-organised where the rewards are high and owners are left distraught from the loss.
It is hoped that the ‘Dog theft awareness day’, which is being hosted by Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, will bring the issue to the forefront of MPs nationwide. Mr Johnson, who has already raised the issue in Parliament, is keen to support the work of the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance’s (SAMPA) to encourage tougher sentences for those involved in the crime.
MPs will be invited to drop in on the day to hear presentations from those involved in the campaign and police officers leading the offensive against the surging crime.
Dog owners are being asked to contact their MP and urge them to attend the day which is on Tuesday March 14. Anyone who has been a victim is asked to send a photograph of their dog to their MP asking them to add it to a map of stolen dogs across the country.
“The crime is largely unpunished as few cases reach court, and because dogs are regarded as goods any sentence reflects the value of the dog not the impact on the victim who has lost a member of their family,” said a spokesman for the Alliance.
“Police statistics vary across the country and are simply the tip of the iceberg as they show how a force records dog theft rather than the size of the problem. Neither do they record the crime of ‘theft by finding’ where a dog goes missing and is picked up and sold on or kept as a pet or for breeding.”
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