Police record hike in dog thefts in South Yorkshire

Sgt Matt Duffy
Sgt Matt Duffy

Dog thefts are on the increase in South Yorkshire, with 108 reported last year.

Figures released by South Yorkshire Police under the Freedom of Information Act, show that there were 98 thefts in 2016 and 71 in 2015.

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The Insurance Emporium, which sourced the figures, said 72 of the 277 dogs stolen in South Yorkshire over the last three years were taken from gardens and only 32 per cent were returned to their owners.

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Sergeant Matt Duffy, a dog legislation officer for South Yorkshire Police, said: "We understand how traumatic and upsetting it can be when a dog is taken and whenever the theft of a dog is reported to us, it will always be crimed and any lines of enquiry followed up straight away.

"We will always do what we can to reunite a dog with their owner, however given the current demands on police forces operating across the country, there are some simple steps dog owners can take to help keep their pets safe from opportunistic thieves.

"For example, try to ensure your home and garden are secure and avoid leaving your dog on its own for long periods of time. If possible, try and make sure your dog is registered with a vet and is microchipped as well, so that if a dog is recovered, it can be easily identified and their owner traced.

"We’d also advise not to leave dogs unattended in public places."

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Francis Martin, Chief Executive Officer at The Insurance Emporium, said: "When the unthinkable happens to your pet, all you want to do is get your loved one back as soon as possible.

"At The Insurance Emporium, we aim to be here to protect all of the things you love in life - including your dogs.

"Some of our dog insurance policies include standard cover for loss of your dog through theft. These policies will also provide a reward for the safe return of your dog."