It’s hard to believe anyone would steal a dog (especially when there are so many adorable ones available for adoption), but this is the world we live in. Apparently, people steal dogs so often that the authorities have started keeping data on the fur-baby thefts, including the Metropolitan Police in London. New figures released show what the most-stolen dog breeds are.
Data Reveals the Most Stolen Dog Breeds
What the police data reveal is that 3,102 dogs were recorded as stolen since 2012, when Metropolitan Police began collecting data. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most-stolen dog breed in London, with an unbelievable 496 pups of this breed stolen since data collection began. An additional 142 snatched pups were Staffordshire Bull Terrier mixes.
The next most-stolen breed? Chihuahuas, strangely enough, with 209 taken illegally. French Bulldogs came in as the third most-pilfered pet, with 146 of the pups stolen.
All that said, a large number of pups stolen (368) did not have a recorded breed on file.
The outer boroughs of London seem to be the most dangerous for dogs; Croydon was where the largest number of dogs disappeared (170), followed by Bromley (144), and Enfield (133).
And the situation just keeps getting worse, with 2021 ranking as the worst year for dog thefts – 422 in total. 2022 saw a slight dip, with 398 dogs stolen. More data show that in 2020, 317 dogs were stolen, and in 2019, 328 pups were dog-napped.
How To Keep Your Dog Safe From Thieves
The BBC offers the following tips to help keep your fur baby safe:
- Microchip your dog and keep your information updated on pet registration databases.
- Make sure your dog has a collar with a tag showing your last name and cell phone number.
- Take pictures of your pup from different angles. Capture any distinctive features that could help identify them.
- Add alarms or bells to gates, and make sure all gates are secured with heavy-duty locks.
- Do not leave your dog unattended in your car.
- Be cautious about sharing details on social media about your home’s location, your dog’s breed, and where you walk with them.
- Check references thoroughly for dog walkers or dog daycare operators.