Dog owners around the country would be wise to be on their guard at the moment, given reports that organised crime gangs are now focusing on stealing dogs and puppies, in line with greater demand for such pets during lockdown.
According to the Independent, 40 dogs have been stolen in the last two months in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including numerous cocker spaniels. Pedigrees and working dogs are being targeted in particular, with some animals changing hands for thousands of pounds.
Stats from charity DogLost show that thefts went up by 65 per cent between March 23rd (the first day of lockdown) and June 1st. In Lancashire, 22 dogs - which included two litters of puppies - were taken in a single raid of a kennel.
And in Suffolk, two Lhasa apso dogs and seven puppies were among those stolen from a boarding kennels, along with a spaniel and six Labrador puppies. Cocker spaniels can apparently sell for up to £3,500 each.
Cambridgeshire police’s Detective Inspector Chris O’Brien said: “With more people working from home and finding themselves with extra time, the demand for dogs has soared across the country.
“However, this in turn resulted in huge increases in prices which has sadly led to criminals taking advantage of the situation by stealing dogs in an attempt to sell them on at a high price.”
Reviewing the security measures you have at home can help make your property a lot more secure and deter thieves from targeting your house in the first place. Consider investing in something like Ajax alarm system installation, as burglars are more likely to target properties that are easy for them to enter and exit without anyone noticing.