Dog theft to be made a criminal offence in England
September 3, 2021
A new criminal offence of pet abduction is to be introduced in England, to tackle the rising number of heart-breaking pet-napping incidents.
The introduction of the new offence is one of the recommendations of the Pet Theft Task Force, which found that:
Until now, the theft of a pet has been treated in the same way as theft of property, for example, stealing a car. However, this didn’t take into account the emotional impact of losing a much-loved family pet or recognise pets as sentient beings.
Dogs as sentient beings
In May 2021, a new law was passed which recognised animals as sentient beings. The introduction of the new offence for pet abduction would acknowledge the welfare of sentient animals.
Other recommendations by the task force include:
Read more about microchipping in our article about dogs and the law
Action plan for animal welfare
The recommendations from the Dog Theft Task Force are part of the government’s commitment to strengthen the UK’s position as a global leader in animal welfare. This is set out under its Action Plan for Animal Welfare, and includes:
Read more on how to buy a puppy responsibly and safely
How to protect your pet from theft
There are things you can do to protect your pet from theft. This includes:
Read more about what you can do to prevent dog theft and keep your pet safe.
Keeping track of your dog
GPS dog trackers can be a helpful way to keep track of your dog’s whereabouts when you’re out and about. Here are the top three best sellers: