The number of dog thefts saw a dramatic increase in the UK in 2020. Authorities blame much of these kidnappings on organized crime, with kidnapped animals being used for breeding. A trend favored by the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. Practices uncommon until now and extremely worrying, are emerging, such as ransom demands.
Over the year 2020, a 250% increase in dog thefts was recorded in the United Kingdom, as reported by EuroNews . A barely believable figure, which is explained by the strong demand for pets following the health crisis .
Confinement and isolation have led more and more Britons to want to buy and adopt dogs . The search for a companion in these times of breaking social ties , but also sometimes a pretext to leave home , motivates this trend which also gives rise to abuses : scams, abandonment, neglect … We are also witnessing a soaring prices , especially with regard to purebred dogs for which the prices have gone up to quadruple .
A situation perceived as a godsend by organized crime , identified as largely responsible by the police . Thieves do not hesitate to seize canines from their owners and then try to resell them illegally or make them breeders .
Females are particularly sought after by these criminals. They have them done litter after litter, without worrying about their well-being or their health . All that matters to them is how much profit they can make from the sale of their puppies .
A sad fate that could be that of Tig , one of Melissa Cole’s 2 canines, a theft victim cited by EuroNews . Those who took his dog from him even contacted her to demand a ransom , a practice that was rather rare until then, when it comes to pets. Even more unthinkable, it was by using children that they came into contact with Ms. Cole to encourage her to pay .
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Faced with this situation, many British people are calling for stronger legislation against the theft of pets . The latter are, in fact, considered as crimes . A petition signed by nearly 500,000 people calls for them to be treated as crimes .