Pet owners be warned, “dognapping” is on the rise and is reaching epidemic proportions.
With an estimated 2,000 pet dogs stolen every month, Insurance companies urging pet owners to ensure their pet insurance policies cover them and their pets adequately.
Even actress and model Elizabeth Hurley has reported her black Labrador missing. A quick look at the Doglost website will give you an idea of the breeds that have gone missing recently, page after page of them!
For anyone who doesn't have a dog - or who dislikes dogs - the entire notion of "dognapping" may seem laughable, conjuring up images of a blindfolded pooch with a gun to its head, and a voice growling down a phone line: "Gimme the money or the mutt gets it." But for owners emotionally attached to their dogs the experience is traumatic. For some, it's as traumatic as having a child kidnapped.
The most-frequently targeted are Labradors, - I see there is one missing in Birchington with “Lost” adverts on the sea front lamposts - followed by Lurchers, then Staffordshire bull terriers, then Jack Russells, then Springer spaniels.
As many as 40,000 dogs are stolen in the UK each year. Each week about 50 are reported stolen in Southeast England. In many instances, the dognapping appears to be well-organised and in cases have been reportedly linked with the arrival of a particular group of visitors in the affected area, with many dogs apparently finding their way to breeding farms in Southern Ireland, if not ransomed directly for as much as £3,000 a pet. And people will pay this kind of money to get a family pet back.
So keep an eye on your dog as these desperate criminals will stop at nothing to grab man’s best friend, who may be worth rather more to you than you think.