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Increase in Dog Thefts Across UK, London Dog Theft Capital Ninth Year in a Row


Dog thefts in the United Kingdom have reached a record high, new statistics show. Shockingly, London takes the lead. The city has had the highest number of stolen dogs for the last nine years. Other areas in the U.K. that have become a hotspot for dog thefts include West Yorkshire and Kent.

London declared dog theft capital of the U.K. for 2023

According to The Standard, a total of 2,290 dogs went missing across the U.K. in 2023. This was a 6% increase from 2022.

The Direct Line Pet Insurance, meanwhile, track the number of dog thefts in the U.K. They revealed that the number of stolen dogs in London in 2023 alone stood at 359. This figure surpassed the number of recorded dog thefts in all other regions across the U.K.

Unfortunately, not all families whose pets were stolen from them in 2023 got their canines back. Sky News reports that out of every six stolen dogs, only one was reunited with their family.

Findings show that dog thieves in the U.K. mostly targeted three breeds in 2023: English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and XL Bullies. Surprisingly, English Bulldogs and Frenchies can fetch as high as £3,000 in the black market.

Other breeds that featured in these dog thefts in 2023 include Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies, Chihuahuas, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Commenting on the alarming spike in dog thefts in the U.K., Madeline Pike, a veterinary nurse with Direct Line Pet Insurance, stated: “It is saddening to see the increase in dog theft this year, these statistics don’t show the heartbreak and anxiety faced by owners across the country who have lost a loved one.”

Furthermore, Pike cautioned U.K. dog owners to remain vigilant. “For pet owners it can feel like a member of the family has been ripped away if their dog is stolen. We continue to see year on year the same breeds being targeted for thieves, so owners of these animals should be especially vigilant.”


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