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Heartbroken owner still looking for beloved dogs as figures show five are stolen every day in the UK

The number of dogs reported stolen in the UK has risen for the fourth year in a row, with an average of five dogs stolen every day.

The new figures come from an FOI by Direct Line Pet Insurance.

1,959
dogs reported stolen to UK police forces in 2018.

West Yorkshire Police reported in the top three of the highest number of stolen dogs, with 179 reports in 2018.

795
dogs stolen in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire in 2017-2018
Jacqui Millson's set up a 'Find Zala and Zeus' Facebook page Credit: ITV News Calendar

Jacqui Millson, from Barnsley, has spent hours looking for her dogs and even offered an £8,000 reward.

Her two pets were stolen three years ago but despite efforts, which included setting up a Facebook page, there is still no sign of much-loved Zala or Zeus.

She says it has left her "heartbroken".

Nationally, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was the most targeted breed by criminals in 2018, with 88 reported thefts over the year.

Chihuahuas have now overtaken the French Bulldog as the third most stolen breed, with 52 Chihuahuas reported stolen in 2018, an 18% increase from 2017.

Here are the 10 most stolen breeds of dog in 2018:

  • 1 - Staffordshire Bull Terrier - 88
  • 2 - Crossbreed - 53
  • 3 - Chihuahua - 52
  • 4 - French Bulldog - 51
  • 5 - Jack Russell - 39
  • 6 - Pug - 24
  • 7 - English Bulldog - 22
  • 8 - Cocker Spaniel - 14
  • 9 - Labrador - 12
  • 10 - Terrier - 11
  • All breeds - 1,959
Doris and Dinky were stolen from a car at Sainsbury's in Hinckley

Here's what to do if your dog has been stolen:

  • Firstly, check the local area and your dog's favourite spots as your dog may have wandered off
  • Make your dog 'too hot to handle' by sharing on social media, putting up posters in the local area and informing local media - include pictures and any distinctive marks in any appeals, and ask others to spread the word
  • There are some specific sites set up to help find lost and stolen dogs, like doglost.co.uk
  • Report your dog as stolen to the police and provide them with as much detail as possible
  • Report your dog as stolen to local pet related services like vets, animal shelters, pet shops, dog wardens and the council. Provide photos, a physical description and the dogs microchip number
  • Report your dog to the microchip database