Dozens of dogs were stolen in Humberside Police force area last year, according to new figures

Dozens of dogs were reported stolen in the Humberside Police force area last year, figures reveal.

By Patrick Jack (data reporter)
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 1:28 pm
Humberside Police recorded 48 dog thefts in 2021, according to a Freedom of Information request. Photo: PA Images
Humberside Police recorded 48 dog thefts in 2021, according to a Freedom of Information request. Photo: PA Images

A missing pets charity said an increase in dog thefts nationally is linked to the coronavirus pandemic, and warned new owners might accidentally be buying stolen dogs.

Humberside Police recorded 48 dog thefts in 2021, according to a Freedom of Information request from Direct Line Pet Insurance.

Just four were returned.

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Across the UK, 2,077 dogs were reported stolen to 35 police forces which responded to the FOI request – though Direct Line Pet Insurance estimates the real figure to be as high as 2,760.

Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “It’s devastating to see the number of dogs stolen continue to increase across the country.

“Unfortunately, the increase in dog ownership since the pandemic began and the subsequent rise in prices of these animals seems to make the crime even more appealing to thieves.”

The Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance said the demand for dogs during lockdown caused a “huge spike” in them being stolen for breeding, with their value also increasing.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said those buying a dog should seek advice online first, check where it has come from, and ensure that it is being bought legally.

Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, NPCC lead for acquisitive crime, added: “This helps reduce the ability of criminals to operate in this market.

“We would remind the public that rescue centres can often be a reliable and trusted source for those wishing to offer a home to a pet.”