Five dogs are being stolen every day across the UK, an investigation has found, with thefts in West Yorkshire among the highest in the country.
Research by pet insurance at Direct Line showed a 19% rise of the number of dogs stolen in 2016 compared to 2014, when 1,774 dogs were reported stolen compared with 1,491.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was the most stolen breed of dog, with 634 thefts - making up 42% of the total.
The police forces which recorded the highest number of dog thefts last year were the Metropolitan Police (231), West Yorkshire Police (208) and Greater Manchester Police (168).
The report found the actual number of dogs stolen may be much greater than the amount of cases reported to the police, as 1.5 million adults claim they have had a dog stolen from their care in the last five years.
Most stolen breeds of dog
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Jack Russell
- French Bulldog
- Cocker Spaniel