Dog owners are being left heartbroken as their pets are stolen and sold

Dog theft is increasing across the country, which some call an epidemic of animal crime.

Luca, the American bulldog, is one of those who disappeared and left behind a destroyed owner.

For three months, Virgil Tatomir, 40, has left Lucas toys and food bowls where they were, since he is horrified to get rid of them after the five-year-old dog was stolen on a walk in May. reports Mirror Online.

Virgil from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire said: “Emotionally it destroys. Suddenly the house is only a dark silence, an empty gap.

“Everything has to do with it Luca;; her bowl, her chair, her blanket, her food, her toy. Wherever you look, it’s in my mind. ”

“Her pictures are everywhere, hoping that one day she will come back.”

The incidence of Dognaps in beloved animals was 65% higher during the closure than in the previous year, with 48 pets admitted from March 23 to June 1 of this year, compared to 29 in the same period in 2019.

A 19-month-old golden cocker spaniel named Honey was also stolen – this time from her garden in Gravesend, Kent.

40-year-old owner Cintia Gardner says she disappeared after a long walk on June 17th. She is part of the family, our first pet. We have no idea where it is and why it has been held for so long.

“My children see the posters for them everywhere and say,” Look, mom, that’s it honey! “It’s heartbreaking.”

Adorable French bulldog puppy Zara was kidnapped 10-year-old Aironas Jurkus in Bedford on July 11 when the boy and puppy were playing on grass near his family’s home.

They had had Zara for three weeks and it cost £ 700.

Aironas’ mother Rita said, “This guy walked past my son and after a few minutes he came back and asked,” What’s the dog’s name?

“My son said her name and then the man just grabbed her.

“My son said to him:” It is my dog ​​”and the man said:” Better you stay where you are. “

“He keeps asking me:” When will the police bring Zara back? “

Cintia and honey

One of the latest reports came on Tuesday (July 28th) with the theft of six English Springer Spaniels between the ages of two and twelve.

Owner Grace Morgan says they were kidnapped during the night and that it was “devastating”.

Grace, 53, says: “You are part of the family, some of them have been here since my children were very young.

Treasure with Cintia's husband Andy

“It would be devastating enough to lose them, but losing them like this is terrible.”

A little over a week ago, the six-year-old French bulldog cross pug Bessy, was missing in the garden of her owner Richard Woodall.

The adorable dog is believed to be stolen by the 48-year-old roofer from Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Richard says: “I have a 6-foot walled garden, it definitely can’t get out. I know it was pinched.

“I am devastated. I have a disabled child, she is one of her best friends.”

Richard Woodall and Bessy

In July, while their families were on vacation, a total of 17 dogs were stolen from kennels in Suffolk.

And last week, a litter of seven 14,000 pound cocker spaniel puppies was stolen from a Cambridgeshire breeder.

It is often found that dogs make a lot of money online, especially puppies.

These cocker spaniel puppies were stolen this week

Breeds such as Cocker Spaniels and French Bulldogs are currently being advertised for twice the price on Pets4Homes and other websites, each listed for up to £ 3,500.

But those who steal dogs often get out with minimal punishment because it’s not a specific offense.

Justice Minister Robert Buckland has stopped making legal changes this week, despite acknowledging the “deep distress” for owners whose pets have been stolen.

After this blow, the animal geography expert Dr. Daniel Allen of Keele University partnered with the Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance to advocate for a law change and to impose reasonable penalties on the perpetrators.

Dr. Allen says: “There is now a greater demand for people to accompany dogs while people work from home.

“The increased demand has led to higher prices, and in view of the increased prices, the criminals thought:” We make money from dog theft, we can make a little more. “

“Breeders are also increasing dog prices because they can.”

Dr. Daniel Allen, animal geography expert at Keele University

Investigations by Dr. Everyone found that only 1% of dog theft in the UK in 2019 resulted in a person being charged.

He says he saw a steady increase in the number of dog thefts from 2015 to 2018.

However, these numbers face a huge drop in law enforcement, which means that dog theft is less of a risk.

Dr. Allen adds: “Any theft of pets that goes through district courts will take a maximum of six months.

“Even in the crown court, where the penalties can be greater, they are rarely imposed.”

A gang admitted to stealing 15 puppies in Lincolnshire in a 2015 case – but only received suspended sentences of 12-18 months.

“None of them went to prison,” says Dr. Everyone.

“In terms of punishment, it does not reflect the seriousness or impact of the crime.

“Reforming pet theft is fundamental – we don’t want a new law, we want pet theft to be identified as a specific crime in itself.

“That makes it transparent for the future so that we can see what’s going on.

“You have it because of bicycle theft. We know exactly how many bicycles were stolen because they are classified for themselves. Dogs are not.”

Mark Randell from Hidden in Sight

Hidden in Sight works to bring animal abusers to justice and has 40 years of experience in analyzing criminal motivation at an international level.

Mark Randell of the organization says dog theft is increasing due to higher dog sales prices.

He adds: “It is a commodity. It is a low risk – it is very difficult to identify a stolen dog. A dog cannot tell you that it was stolen. It is a very good monetary value for the thief.

“Before the pandemic, French bulldogs traded between £ 1,500 and £ 2,500 per dog. In terms of monetary value, they are very attractive for stealing and reselling.”

The former chief police officer warns that some stolen dogs may be used for fighting.

“You need to look at the different types of dogs to see the thief’s motivation,” he says.

“If it is a French bulldog, it is useless in a dog fight. It will continue to be traded. If it is a Staffy, an air fight could occur.”

Freya Woodhall and Willow

Losing pets is always painful and many owners never give up hope of finding their beloved dogs.

Freya Woodhall from Much Wenlock, Shropshire, launched a campaign to find her Spocker – Springer-Cocker-Kreuz – Pasture.

Willow was stolen from the mother of four’s garden in 2018, at the age of two.

“She has to be out there somewhere,” says Freya.

“I didn’t know how widespread dog theft was until we found ourselves in this terrible situation. We called her, she is part of our family, she loved and cared for, she gave us her unconditional love.

“Suddenly tearing that from you is indescribable.”


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