Expert issues warning to dog owners on This Morning as dog thefts dramatically rise in the UK

22 October 2019, 13:37 | Updated: 4 November 2019, 15:19

There has been a dramatic increase in dog thefts in the UK
There has been a dramatic increase in dog thefts in the UK. Picture: ITV/Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

A woman who fell victim to ‘dognapping’ was joined by a dog behaviourist expert on This Morning as they discussed the growing fear of dog thefts.

There has been a dramatic rise in dog thefts in the UK, it has been reported.

Dogs are regularly being stolen from their owners to sell, for ransom or even for dog fighting – and now, experts are warning dog owners how they can keep their canines safe.

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Jackie Milson, who has had two dogs stolen, gave an emotional interview on This Morning with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.

Three days before Christmas in 2016, her dogs Zeus and Zala were taken from her house after she went out for a doctors appointment.

Jackie had her two dogs stolen from her home three days before Christmas in 2016
Jackie had her two dogs stolen from her home three days before Christmas in 2016. Picture: ITV

She told Ruth and Eamonn that she lives in a quiet and safe village, and left her back door open for her dogs to wonder in a out of her private garden.

However, when she returned, her gate had been broken and the two loved canines were gone.

Jackie is still searching for her dogs to this day, and admitted that she received little help from the police, claiming all she was given was a crime reference number when she reported her dogs stolen.

Dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson has started a petition to make dog theft a specific criminal offence
Dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson has started a petition to make dog theft a specific criminal offence. Picture: ITV

Currently in the UK, stealing a dog is seen as a similar offence to that of a bike being stolen, and the average fine is often only £250.

“I’ll go on looking”, she emotionally told the presenting duo: “I get photos everyday, but they’ve never been mine. There are so many other people searching for their pets.”

Figures suggest five dogs are stolen in the UK everyday, however, dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson said he believes the statistics are in fact “a minimum of ten times more than that”.

Stan explained on the ITV morning show: “This is big money, there are gangs involved in this, the money involved in this is unbelievable.”

The expert explained that dogs are often stolen so people can claim the ransom money, so they can sell them off, and even sometimes for dog fighting.

Jackie is still searching for her dogs, two years on
Jackie is still searching for her dogs, two years on. Picture: ITV

In order to keep your dog safe, Stan has recommended making sure you often change your walking route, install cameras into your back garden and generally secure your house.

Stan is currently fighting for dog theft to be made a specific crime in the UK, you can join his fight and sign her petition here.

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