Make Dog Theft and Attempted Dog Theft a Specific Offence

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Under the Theft Act, animal companions are legally regarded as inanimate objects when stolen. Stolen pets come under theft offences such as burglary or theft from a person. Sentencing is dependent on the monetary value of the stolen animal (under or above £500), and the crime is treated as a category 3 (fine to 2 years in custody) or 4 offence (fine to 36 weeks in custody) in magistrates court.

We need to change this. After personally experiencing an attempted theft of our little puppy, Rudie, we’re passionate to get suspects reprimanded for their actions and get higher sentencing - as are all the dog walkers and owners of the Hackney area. 

This September, a man attempted to steal our little Rudie while we were walking him (on the lead!). He came up from behind and tried to scoop him up in a plastic bag. If it wasn’t for my partner being vigilant and realising what was happening, our situation would be very, very different.  

The outpouring on social media about our story has been astounding - and not only from people in our area. It’s clear this is a nationwide problem. Since puppy prices have sky rocketed since COVID-19 lockdown, dog theft crimes have shot up. From snatching while on a dog walk, to stealing dogs from their homes, there needs to be harsher sentences to stop this from happening. Having spoken to dog owners and walkers in our community, it’s evident that we’re scared to walk our dogs, to enjoy all our local parks, to let our dogs off the lead - this is not okay. We don’t want to live in fear that our furry friend might be stolen.

Dogs are not a possession. They are so much more than a handbag, a laptop, an iPad - they’re our family. If you agree, please sign this petition and help us get justice for our dogs!