The number of dogs being stolen in the UK has seen an alarming rise since the start of lockdown following an unprecedented growth in the demand for pets. Leading pet insurer, Thistle Insurance who operate the petGuard brand, have called for greater awareness among pet owners and the general public around dog theft.
It’s estimated that as many as 2,000 dogs are stolen in the UK every year*, with 2020 being described as the ‘worst ever year for dog thefts’ according to lost and found service Dog Lost. The rise in the number of stolen dogs has been linked to a huge increase in demand for pets since the start of lockdown, with around 3.2 million homes in the UK taking in a new pet since the start of the pandemic**.
The extreme measures that criminal gangs have resorted to in order to steal dogs has gained international attention following the theft of singer Lady Gaga’s dogs Koji and Gustavo in February 2021. This follows a similar case involving footballer Daniel Sturridge who had his Pomeranian dog stolen in 2019.
Ahead of Pet Theft Awareness Week, 14 to 21 March, petGuard have produced an article raising awareness of dog thefts. Alex Bennett, Director of Thistle Insurance said, “petGuard have been at the forefront of protecting the nation’s cats and dogs for over 37 years and we are committed to highlighting important issues for both pet owners and their much-loved companions. It’s important that dog owners remain vigilant and aware of the risk of dog theft.”
As part of their cover for cats and dogs, petGuard can cover the cost of local advertising, offer a £250 reward and can pay up to £1,500 towards the original purchase price of a stolen pet.