New owners have been warned they may unwittingly buy stolen pets – plus advice on how to protect your dogs from criminals.
Hundreds of dogs were stolen in Greater Manchester over a five-year period, figures show.
Greater Manchester Police recorded 679 dog thefts between 2015 and 2019, according to a Freedom of Information request from Direct Line Pet Insurance (latest statistics not yet available).
Madeline Pike, Veterinary Nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “It is devastating to see the number of stolen dogs continue to rise across the country.
“Unfortunately, the increase in the number of dog owners since the start of the pandemic and the subsequent rise in the prices of these animals seem to make crime even more attractive to thieves.”
To help keep your pets safe, experts advise not posting where you live in photos on social media, not putting your dog’s name on their collar tag and considering investing in a GPS collar.
At home, dogs can easily be taken into gardens, so protect your property with high fences, lock all doors and consider using video doorbells or security cameras.
Direct Line Pet Insurance said Bulldogs and French Bulldogs, which can cost between £1,000 and £3,000 per puppy, were the most stolen breeds in 2021, followed by these breeds.