Kennel Club has welcomed the announcement by home secretary Priti Patel that stricter penalties for pet theft will be introduced to prevent further crimes from happening.
The dog health and welfare organisation has long pushed for amends to the Animal Welfare Act to make pet theft a specific offence.
Dr. Ed Hayes, head of Public Affairs at The Kennel Club, said: “We’re delighted that the Home Secretary has recognised the devastating effects of pet theft and the need for reform, especially in the current climate where demand for dogs is sky-high and criminals are cashing in.
“Currently the theft of a dog is treated no more seriously than the theft of a mobile phone, despite the utter heartbreak it causes, making it a low-risk crime as well as a profitable one.”
He added: “We have always been in favour of tougher sentencing and stronger penalties for pet theft and especially in the current climate, we would urge the Government to take swift action, recognising the emotional value of pets and impact on their owners’ lives and increasing penalties accordingly.”