Dog breeds

Most stolen dog breeds revealed in new figures as dog thefts rise in West Yorkshire

Figures recently released by Direct Line Pet Insurance reveal that West Yorkshire Police received 125 dog theft reports in 2020 and 199 in 2021, equivalent to a 59% year-on-year increase.

It comes as research from the insurance company shows the number of stolen dogs in the UK has hit a seven-year high.

Direct Line say that in 2021 the number of stolen dogs increased by 13% across the UK to 2,760, the highest levels since they began analyzing theft rates in 2015.

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French Bulldogs were the most stolen breed in 2021 and saw a 29% increase from the number stolen in 2020

French Bulldogs were the most stolen breed in 2021 and saw a 29% increase from the number stolen in 2020.

Jack Russell’s came in second, with the number of flights flown last year more than doubling (140%) from the previous year.

Other small dogs like chihuahuas and pugs were also popular targets.

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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.

“The law will soon recognize dogs as family members with feelings, not just owned property and we hope this will deter criminals, especially if they can be punished more harshly if prosecuted.

“Anyone considering buying a dog should carefully check where it comes from and see the dog with its mother, to make sure they are not buying from a criminal organization.

“And taking simple precautions like not leaving your dog tied up outside a store, left inside an empty car, or leashed in busy areas, will help reduce the likelihood of being It is also essential to keep microchipped contact details up to date in case your dog goes missing and is handed over.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who were the most popular target for thieves last year, saw an 88% reduction in 2021, dropping them to seventh place. Crossbreeds such as Cockerpoos and Puggles have also lost popularity, dropping from second in 2020 to 10th in 2021.

Around 16million people own a dog across the UK, of which 3.8million have become owners during the pandemic

In more positive news for owners, the number of returned dogs also hit a record high last year, with 617 stolen dogs found and returned. This is a 19% increase from 2020, when 519 dogs were returned.

If you have information about dog theft that you think could help the police, please report it by calling 101.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to the police, you can anonymously call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, on 0800 555 111.