ANIMAL RIGHTS WATCH
News, Information, and Knowledge Resources

DOGNAPPING: Epidemic rise of dog abductions in U.K to meet demand for ‘pandemic pets’

Lost Dog Poster

When someone leans over your garden wall and takes your dog, they’re not stealing your mobile phone, they’re stealing a member of the family.

WILLIAM BOOTH: Britain is in the throes of a huge dognapping crime wave. This is extremely distressing in this nation of animal lovers, another emotional lashing in a strange and terrible time… It is only beginning to stagger out of its third national coronavirus lockdown, and the months of shut-in life under strict stay-at-home orders have made many people hungry for the unconditional love of four-legged companions…

The humane societies and rescue charities in Britain say they have never seen anything like it. Animal welfare investigators — pet detectives, really — blame the pandemic. The demand for dogs is massive, but there are few for sale or adoption. So crime bosses are now puppy brokers…

In Britain, the problem has risen to the level of senior government officials. Home Secretary Priti Patel called the reported rise in pet theft “absolutely shocking.” Police Minister Kit Malthouse vowed action, saying, “It’s a sad fact that criminals will seek to profit by this vile crime.”

Parliament is debating tougher laws after being handed not one but two petitions, with hundreds of thousands of signatures, urging authorities to make dog theft a serious offense, punishable by eight years in prison and $7,500 in fines…

“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been in the field for 35 years,” said Wayne May, police liaison with Dog Lost, Britain’s largest lost-and-found dog service. May said thefts reported to his organization have increased 250 percent, year-on-year. “That’s over 400 cases, just in England, just reported to us,” he said. “This isn’t a dog that’s run off. This is a reported case of theft”…

An Internet search for available dogs for adoption in the London area showed only a few dogs here and there. Brits looking for companions have started rescuing dogs from abroad… Investigators describe a sophisticated chain of criminality, from opportunistic theft to puppy mills to shady sales. First, thieves target gettable pets, especially fecund females. Most are stolen from cars, yards, outside stores and kennels.

Investigators talk about the emergence of a new “puppy mafia.” They say some of the same traffickers who usually deal in prostitution, drugs and gun sales have turned to Labradoodles, unscrupulously exploiting the exploding demand…

When thieves manage to escape with dogs, they tend to quickly sell the males. The females they send to illegal breeding farms, which operate far outside the norms of the Kennel Club. One such operation was discovered by police who arrived on the scene with warrants to look for guns, not dogs…

James Parry, a lawyer who prosecutes dognapping in British courts, said police “have only just woken up to the importance of these cases.” He pointed to recent raids at illegal kennels housing as many as 80 dogs, many suspected as stolen… Parry said a litter of a half-dozen pups could yield 10,000 pounds (nearly $14,000)…

Gamekeeper John Gaunt said…  the loss of a treasured pet is far more painful than having to replace a stolen big-screen TV. “They’re not stealing your mobile phone — they’re stealing a member of the family,” Gaunt said. When someone leans over your garden wall and takes your dog, he added, “they’re taking much more than a thing.” SOURCE…

RELATED VIDEO:

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ENTER CAPTCHA CODE BELOW: