Changing the Law

I was really pleased to hear on the news today that the Home Secretary is looking at measures to tackle the shocking increase in dog theft here in the UK.

In 2020 dog abductions rose between 170 – 250% across the UK. More recently, there have been cases of criminal gangs posing as RSPCA Officers, in order to abduct dogs in broad daylight.

With regard to the law, someone convicted of dog theft can only be dealt with by the courts as if they’d stolen property like a phone. This really doesn’t take account the huge emotional impact of losing a member of your family.

A Change.Org petition to ‘make dog theft a specific criminal offence’ was discussed in parliament last month. Unfortunately, the outcome was disappointingly summarised as:

“current court sentencing guidelines for theft already take into account the emotional distress that theft of a family pet can have on owners, and already recommend higher penalties for such offences”.

After delving into the headlines, following the parliamentary discussion it appears that Home Secretary Pritti Patel is building a case to make pet theft a more serious offence with stronger penalties.

So, what can we do? There are a number of petitions underway on the Change.org site. Such as the original petition outlined above, and another two here and here. I’m sure there will be others.

My hope is for some serious momentum behind this issue now, and support from MPs in making this change happen.

Stay safe

Until next time

Jen

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