People may want to keep a closer eye on their guard dogs and pets in the future, as new figures have been revealed showing that the UK has seen a 20 per cent hike in the number of dognappings in the last two years.
An investigation by the Daily Mirror has found that over 2,400 dogs were stolen between 2013 and now, with the industry now worth a minimum of £100,000 a year. Pinched pets are quickly sold on the black market, with only 29 per cent of the animals later recovered.
The most popular breeds for dognapping cases are Staffordshire bull terriers, Jack Russells, cocker spaniels, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, lurchers, springer spaniels, German Shepherds, Labradors and pugs.
Chairman of charity Dog Theft Action Sylvia Tabor said: “In law, dogs are classed as property like a TV, so sentences are low for taking a living creature away from its family. Unfortunately, it can also often be seen as a low priority by police. Staffies seem particularly high on the list as they can be used in dog fighting and as guard dogs.”
Dognappers increasingly use chalk marks and spray paint to single out a home with a valuable dog inside that may be worth stealing. Gang members prowl around to see what dogs are where and then leave marks for their accomplices so they know where to target later on.
Keep monitoring your premises so you can see if any of these marks appear and if they do make sure you call the police immediately.