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  1. ITV Report

Somerset couple urge pet owners to be careful after their dog was stolen

An average of five dogs a day were stolen in the UK last year Credit: ITV News

Organisations are calling for there to be changes in the law to stop the rise in numbers of dogs thefts, as five of the pets are stolen every day.

Almost 2,000 dogs were stolen across the UK in 2018, a rise of 30% since 2014.

Only a fifth of dogs reported as stolen are returned to their owners, and just 5% of cases lead to the thief being convicted.

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Current law means stolen dogs are classed as 'property theft', and although perpetrators can face up to seven years in prison this means thefts of less 'valuable' breeds are often resolved with a fine.

The Dogs Trust says that the bond formed between pets and their owners cannot be measured on a monetary scale and that measures need to be put in place to deter thieves.

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A couple from Somerset are urging for more action to be taken after their Cocker Spaniel was stolen from their car last year.

Claire and Danny Barron from Frome reported that their dog, Billy, had been stolen almost 18 months ago.

Danny left Billy in his car for a few minutes when he went into a house as part of his work, but the crate Billy was in had vanished when he returned.

Billy the Cocker Spaniel was stolen from his owner's car Credit: ITV News

The Dogs Trust revealed the breeds most susceptible to thieves, urging all dog owners to keep an eye on their pets when they're out and to secure their gardens.

MOST COMMONLY STOLEN BREEDS:

  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  • Chihuahuas
  • French Bulldogs
  • Jack Russells
  • Pugs