Warning to dog owners as number of dog thefts in Glasgow since 2019 revealed

A warning has been issued to dog owners, as the number of dog thefts in Glasgow since 2019 has been revealed.
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According to Police Scotland figures, there was a 42 per cent rise in dog thefts across Scotland in 2020/21, compared to the previous year.

There were 62 thefts in 2019/20 and 88 in 2020/21, although these figures also include attempted thefts and domestic issues/ownership disputes regarding the dog.

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However, that is not reflected in Glasgow. The Greater Glasgow Police Division recorded nine dog thefts in 2019/20 - a figure which fell to five in 2020/21.

Why has there been a rise in dog thefts?

The demand for dogs has increased in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, with some puppy breeds in demand.

The rising cost of purchasing a dog and the increase in demand has led to some thieves stealing and re-selling dogs.

There has been a drop in dog thefts in Glasgow.There has been a drop in dog thefts in Glasgow.
There has been a drop in dog thefts in Glasgow.

Most of these thefts take place inside a residential property, with just a handful taking place outside the house. There has also been a rise in the number of thefts taking place in public places.

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The most popular days for these thefts to take place are Saturday and Sunday.

What can I do to protect my dog?

According to the Scottish SPCA, there are a number of actions that can be taken to stop these thefts taking place.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Scottish SPCA head of education, policy and research, said: “It’s concerning to hear that there has been an increase in dog thefts in Scotland over the last year. The theft of an animal can be devastating for both the pet and person affected.

“In our experience animals tend to be stolen for breeding purposes or because they can be sold on for profit.

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“It is very important that owners supervise their animals when they are outdoors and remain vigilant.

“We would also always advise when posting photos of their pet on social media that owners make sure the location of their pet cannot be identified from the image.

“Microchipping of dogs is a legal requirement for all dogs over eight weeks old but we would also encourage owners to microchip other pets such as cats and rabbits when possible so that, should they go missing, there is a much greater chance of them being identified and returned to their owner.”

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