Black Labrador puppy. Image credit: Phil Romans via Flickr no changes made


With the last 12 months showing a marked increase in pet thefts, it is important to highlight what can be done to try and prevent it and to raise awareness.

A Salford resident who is part of a group which shares cases of this happening, but who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “The main one with the dogs is you’ve got people who are taking a small dog around people’s roads and asking ‘have you lost a dog?”

With this even getting as serious as involving children to go with the people responsible for taking the dogs, in a few instances.

The reality of this being that pet thieves are searching for homes with pets.

According to The Kennel Club, new statistics show that 98 percent of dog theft criminals are never charged, and in more than half of cases a suspect is never identified. The number of stolen dogs has increased 19 percent during the pandemic with 2438 dogs stolen last year.

The Guardian have said that data from the Police shows the number of cats that have been taken has risen almost threefold in five years, with that increasing 12.3% since 2020.

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However, there are things that can be done to reduce the risk of theft.

The resident also said: “Basic pointers are: keep your cats indoors, or if you’re going to go in the garden be with them. Make people aware that there are groups of people, I think we do need to be aware of that.

“The main one we need to get over to people is to stop buying animals off Gumtree, or just random people, because a lot of the time they don’t exist.”
One of the most notable dog cases from Salford last year was Rosie the Fox Red Labrador going missing from Swinton in December 2020.

The social media coverage was vast with her story being covered on Good Morning Britain.

She is still missing today.

One of her owners, Elaine Hardy, said on Facebook: “11 months missing. Please don’t make it 12. Give Rosie back, take her to your local vet or rescue no questions asked.”

Unfortunately, only a fifth of dogs were reunited with their owners last year.

(Infographic credit:Emmie Norton and information from The Kennel Club)

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