1. ITV Report

Dog thefts in West Yorkshire among highest in the country

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.

Editorial image Credit: Press Association

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.

dog thefts reported to West Yorkshire Police last year - the highest number outside London

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
  • Chihuahua
  • Jack Russell
  • Crossbreed
  • French Bulldog
  • Lurcher
  • Labrador
  • Pug
  • Bulldog
  • Cocker Spaniel

"It is perhaps unsurprising that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the dog most often reported stolen, given it is one of the most common dog breeds in the UK."

"Pedigree dog owners should be particularly vigilant as these dogs can often fetch thousands of pounds and have certain characteristics to make it easier for thieves to spot them.

"If the worst was to happen, owners should make sure they report it to the police immediately and spread the word within their local community."

– Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line