New figures reveal the shocking rise in dog thefts during lockdown

New research has revealed there's been a dramatic rise in the number of dog thefts during lockdown.

According to the charity Dog Lost, reports of stolen dogs were 65% higher during lockdown compared with last year.

It's believed some pedigree dogs are being targeted due to the increase in demand for pets to keep people company during lockdown.

Luca was allegedly stolen while out for a walk in Henley-on-Thames in May

Luca, an American Bulldog, was stolen three months ago while out on a walk.

But her favourite toy and food bowl remain just where they always were, waiting for her return. Her owner, Virgil Tatomir, from Henley-on-Thames, can't bring himself to move them after the five-year-old pet was taken in May.

Luca's owner has left her bowls in the same place as he waits for her to return

Luca the American Bulldog went missing in May while out for a walk

But Luca is one of many dogs who have been taken across the south east. A family from Kent is desperately searching for their dog after they believe it was stolen.

Golden Cockerspaniel Honey went missing from Gravesend last month.

Golden Cockerspaniel Honey went missing last month
  • Andy Gardner, and Cintia Gardner, Honey's owners

The price of puppies has rocketed during lockdown, as so many people want a companion.

On some websites, puppies are being sold for four times the asking price you would have paid before lockdown. And those prices attract criminals.

  • Wayne May, DogLost UK

It's now law that anyone wanting a puppy has to buy direct from a breeder - or instead adopt from a rescue centre.