Experts warns pet owners to never leave dogs tied up outside shops amid rise in thefts
1 March 2021, 13:43 | Updated: 1 March 2021, 13:46
With dog thefts seeing a shocking rise across the UK, pet owners are being warned to remain vigilant.
In the past year through the coronavirus pandemic and multiple lockdowns, a record number of people have made the decision to purchase a dog or a puppy.
While new additions to the family may be a wonderful light during these tough times, the increase in people buying dogs has meant the demand for canines has skyrocketed, along with the price.
Sadly, this has meant an increase in the number of dog thefts as criminals hope to gain from stealing and then selling the dogs on to other unaware people.
Appearing on Lorraine today, vet Sean McCormack told pet owners they need to remain vigilant during these times to ensure the pet's safety.
This includes never leaving your dog tied up outside a shop, something a lot of pet owners will be guilty of doing.
Speaking on the show, Sean said it was "risky" to leave a dog alone and tied up outside.
He explained that you should not be leaving your dog unsupervised, including when popping into a shop.
The expert said: "Even for a couple of minutes, that's all it takes for someone to come along and see an opportunity."
He added that you should also not be leaving your dog in the car, as thefts can occur in this way as well.
Lorraine admitted that before this, she would leave her dog, Angus, outside a shop while she popped in – but adds she would never do it now.
Talking about the increase in dog thefts, Sean said: "We're seeing a massive, massive demand for dogs, we're seeing breeders cashing in on that, people who wouldn't have necessarily bred dogs before deciding to breed their dogs.
"And we're just seeing the prices of dogs rocket, puppies going for £3000, £4000, £5000, so dogs have really become hot property."
He went on: "Criminal gangs and organisations are seeing cash signs and saying 'we can make a bit of a living here by stealing dogs'."
He said that this has become more common in popular breeds as they are in such high demand.