On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Lindsey Russell 4am - 6:30am
27 April 2022, 16:13
London, Essex and West Yorkshire are among the areas in England and Wales with the most dog thefts.
New statistics have revealed the dog theft hotspots in England and Wales.
These are the places where there have been the most stolen dogs reported, and the figures are shocking.
According to Direct Line Pet Insurance, London had 422 dog thefts reported in 2021 alone.
The capital takes the top spot on the list, followed by West Yorkshire with 199 dog thefts.
Last year, a total of 2,760 dogs were stolen across England and Wales, which is a 13 per cent rise from 2,438 in 2020.
Many experts believe lockdown sparked a demand in dogs, and especially puppies, which could have lead to the increase in dog thefts.
Back in January 2021, senior police liaison officer at Dog Lost, Wayne May, told Tyla: "People were looking for companion animals at home during lockdown, which inadvertently sparked a rise in the value of dogs in general which obviously has been capitalised on.
"We were running out of dogs in the UK. We also have a big problem of dogs being illegally imported into the UK without paperwork at the moment and obviously people are having their dogs stolen specifically to be bred from."
He said at the time it had been a "cascade of events".
These are the areas across England and Wales where the most dog thefts have been reported:
If you are worried about your dog being stolen, there are ways you can help prevent the worst happening.
Experts have revealed ways you can make it as difficult as possible for a thief to steal your dog, including a tip from pet detective Robert Kenny.
Kenny appeared on This Morning back in 2019 where he explained that you should never leave your dog in the garden as at least 50 per cent of stolen dog cases happen on the owner's property.
Pet detective says how to prevent your dog from being stolen
In 2021, a man called James Cosens – who fought off thieves trying to steal his dog – and former police detective Mark Williams Thomas appeared on the hit ITV morning show where they shared their own ways of preventing dognappings.
James recommended dog owners walk in open areas and avoid secluded paths.
Mark added that people should train their dogs to have a good recall so when they meet other people while out walking, they can be called back to heel and a lead can be put on them.
He added that people should have their dogs microchipped, but that they can also purchase small GPS trackers which can be placed on the dog collar.