Pet Abduction To Be Made A Criminal Offence In Crackdown On Pet Theft

Ministers want to change the law so it reflects the severity of the pet thieves’ crimes by considering the emotional distress it can cause the animal and acknowledging that pets represent far more than just property to their owners.

  • Pet Theft Taskforce delivers report with recommendations to tackle reported rise of pet theft
  • Government working with the police to improve recording and tracking of pet abduction cases
  • Improvements to pet microchipping processes to support the identification of lost and stolen dogs

A new criminal offence for pet abduction is set to be introduced under government plans to crack down on pet theft following a reported rise in pets being stolen during the pandemic. The new law will recognise the welfare of animals and that pets are valued as more than property.

The new offence is one of several recommendations in a report published today by the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce which was launched in May 2021. The Taskforce, made up of officials from Defra, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice along with operational partners including the police CPS, Border Force and Local Government, considered evidence from academics, animal welfare organisations, campaign groups, enforcement agencies and industry experts.

Since its establishment, the Taskforce has considered available evidence from academics, animal welfare organisations, campaign groups, enforcement agencies and industry experts to help inform its recommendations.

The report found that seven in 10 of the animal thefts recorded by the police involve dogs. Evidence suggests that around 2,000 dog theft crimes were reported to police in 2020, causing considerable distress for owners and their pets alike. The price of some breeds increased by as much as 89% over lockdown as people spent more time at home, potentially making dog theft more appealing to criminals looking to profit from the spike in public interest in owning a pet.

The Taskforce’s recommendations include:

  • The creation of a new ‘pet abduction’ offence:Pet theft is currently treated as a loss of property to the owner, but we know that does not reflect the true severity of this crime. The new offence will prioritise the welfare of our pets as sentient beings and recognise the emotional distress to the animal in addition to its owner.
  • Identifying and tracking cases:Reliable data on pet theft is limited and improved recording and data collection about these crimes will build a stronger evidence base about the problem.
  • Improving the recording of ownership and transfer data:New requirements to register additional details and a single point of access to microchipping databases will support tracking lost and stolen dogs.
  • Tackling the fear of crime:Police will work together with partner agencies to raise awareness about police initiatives and prevention measures

These changes will make it easier for the police to track pet abduction incidents making it easier to clamp down on offenders. The Home Office will ensure that pet abduction is recorded in a consistent manner across police forces, while officials from each department will be able to review the way data is collected across the criminal justice system.

Pet microchip databases will also be made more accessible under the proposals. There are currently 16 microchipping databases in England, however the Taskforce found that they can be difficult to navigate for pet owners and law enforcement, making it difficult to trace stolen dogs. Under the new proposals a single point of access to all databases will simplify and streamline the system and more robust rules will also be introduced across all of the pet microchipping databases for recording the transfer of dogs to new owners to ensure full traceability.

Taken together, these proposals will make it far harder for thieves to steal and sell pets, will make it easier for the police to catch them, and will ensure that the impact on the animal is reflected in the sentences or penalties given to offenders.

The new measures will also allow the Government to capture more data on pet theft crimes and raise awareness of police activity in combatting the issue and actions owners can take to keep their pets safe.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

Pets are much loved members of the family in households up and down the country, and reports of a rise in pet theft have been worrying. Pet owners shouldn’t have to live in fear, and I am pleased this report acknowledges the unique distress caused by this crime.

Its recommendations will reassure pet owners, help the police to tackle pet theft, and deliver justice for victims. We will consider its findings carefully and work with colleagues across Government to start implementing its recommendations.

The Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP, said:

Many of us have sought the companionship of pets during the pandemic which makes this crime even more cruel.

These proposals will make sure police can better identify and track down criminals who peddle in this heartless trade, whilst ensuring they are appropriately punished for their actions.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Stealing a pet is an awful crime which can cause families great emotional distress whilst callous criminals line their pockets.

The new offence of pet abduction acknowledges that animals are far more than just property and will give police an additional tool to bring these sickening individuals to justice.

At the same time, police will continue to work to raise awareness about how owners can best to protect pets from being targeted.

Taskforce partner, Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said:

The work of the taskforce means that police forces across the country will now be better placed to respond to pet theft through an improved recording process and a specific crime that recognises pets as valued members of the family with a significant emotional impact”.

We would also encourage anyone buying a puppy or dog to make sure that they are buying from a responsible and genuine home. Advice on checks that can help buyers make the right choices is available through Blue Cross or RSPCA website.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said:

We’re really pleased to hear the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce recommendations. Pet theft can leave families in utter turmoil and have serious welfare implications for animals ripped away from everything they know.

The new Pet Abduction Offence will acknowledge the seriousness of this crime and we hope this will encourage courts to hand out much tougher sentences to pet thieves. We’re also thrilled that the Government wants to simplify the microchipping database system and we believe this will help to tackle pet theft as well as other animal welfare issues and irresponsible pet ownership generally.

The police advise that dog owners should avoid leaving their pet unattended while out in public, vary their routines when walking their dogs and should take basic security steps at home such as checking locks on doors and garden gates. The Blue Cross has also published detailed guidance for pet owners on how they can protect their animals from theft.

The Taskforce’s recommendations are part of the Government’s commitment to further strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader in animal welfare standards, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare, and follow Defra’s recent announcement of new measures to crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies.

Please SHARE to raise awareness to dog theft. You can also sign up for UPDATES & NEW ARTICLES by submitting your email details in the right-hand column. Thank You.

Two-Legged Street Dog That Was Shot In The Head Lives To Tell The Tale And Now LOVES Life.

AMIRA WHEN SHE WAS RESCUED

A two-legged street dog from Thailand that was shot in the head and left to die has been rescued by a Canadian family – and now even has her own wheelchair. Lara Pleasence, 51, from Montreal, Canada, first heard about Amira’s tragic story through the Soi Dog Foundation, based in Asia. Administrator and personal trainer Lara first saw Amira in a video posted by the rescue centre in Thailand in October 2020. “This poor dog who was born without legs, lived on the streets having litter after litter, then after nine years of struggling to survive, someone shoots her in the head,” Lara told Jam Press. “I just broke down and cried.”

Amira was treated for her head wound by the Soi Dog rescue centre who shared regular updates of her progress on social media. “Sweet Amira was always wagging her tail; it just broke my heart that she still trusted humans even after everything she’d been through. “I knew I had to contact the rescue to see if I could help in any way, maybe even offer to be her forever family, although they doubted that she would ever be well enough to travel.” After a tense wait, the Soi Dog Foundation contacted Lara to tell her that Amira had recovered enough to be put up for adoption. “I was so stoked and so worried about what my husband was going to say, since we already had three dogs,” Lara admitted. “There was something about Amira, this incredible connection I felt for her from the very first time I saw her. “I wanted to right all the wrongs that were done to her, I just felt compelled to try. “I wanted desperately to show her all the love, security, happiness that she deserved, that every dog deserves, and that this poor sweetie had been denied for so many years.”

AMIRA’S LOVING AND LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL

To qualify to adopt Amira, Lara and her family had to go through a strict application procedure – including a virtual home visit, interview process and form-filling. “I was made aware that we would have to pay for her to be flown to Canada since, because of Covid, they didn’t have travellers who could take her on the plane for free.” “I think I would have mortgaged the house to get this sweet girl here.” When Amira touched down in Montreal in April 2021 after a 22-hour journey – which cost $2,000 – it was love at first sight. Lara said: “My husband was none too happy about even the idea of another dog since we already had three, but I told him that I had never felt this way about any rescues that I had seen. “I was so excited that we were getting her, I was practically bursting, and he knew that fighting it was a lost cause – happy wife, happy life.” Amira came with her wheelchair, after a man in Vietnam made a custom one for her and it was gifted to the pup by Soi Dog. “She literally came bouncing out of her crate and jumped all over us like the happiest kangaroo you’ve ever seen.” “She’d been in it for over 22 hours and didn’t even have an accident!” “We couldn’t believe the joy she exudes.

She is a true miracle. After everything she’s been through, Amira is fun-loving and outgoing. “She’s so trusting, she loves everyone she meets. “She absolutely loves to be held in your lap and will sleep there for as long as you will let her. “She is resilient and doesn’t let her past hold her back from trying new things or doing something a bit scary like canoeing or going on our paddleboard. “She is obsessed with our bed… If we’re not home, we have to block the stairs because we can’t risk her falling. “How a street dog, with no front legs, knows how to climb stairs is just one of Amira’s many mysteries. “She’ll let me kiss her nose 50 times in a row, my other three dogs will eventually pull their head away, but not Miss Amira, she loves it. “She gets these crazy puppy moments where she runs around on her nubs and jumps up on the furniture then flies right back off it. “These moments make my heart smile because it’s like she finally doesn’t have a care in the world and can just be a dog. “No more struggling for food or to keep her puppies safe and fed or hiding from bad people.”

AMIRA IN HER WHEELS

Now, Amira enjoys a happy life spending her days with her family and playing at her favourite spot. Lara added: “She loves going to the dog park, even though many of the dogs get freaked out by the “transformer dog” with wheels and just bark at her.”

FROM STREET DOG TO CRUISING THE STREETS

In videos posted to Instagram (@amira.amiracle), Lara shares Amira’s adventures with her new set of wheels. In one comical clip, which has been viewed over 725,000 times, Amira runs after a cat and ends up doing a headstand when she hits a curb. “She just waits for me to pick her back up and she keeps on going like it’s no big deal,” said Lara. Another video shows her gradually getting better at walking in a straight line with her wheels. Followers of Amira’s page are in love with the pup, and she regularly receives gushing comments. One person commented: “So beautiful to see this! You’re amazing, sweet and strong Amira.” “Love u Amira very much,” said another viewer. “She’s amazing and you’re amazing with her,” added another person. Lara is grateful for all the support and says she is touched by the comments she receives. “The people who follow Amira on Instagram are the sweetest,” she said. “They are so happy that she has a family that loves her now. “Some say Amira’s posts are their daily dose of ‘good feels’ or that her videos are ‘good for the soul’. “People feel they need to thank me for taking her, which is so kind, but I always tell them that it is my privilege to give her the best life that I possibly can,” “It’s the least I can do for such an angel. “I can only hope that her page may inspire someone else to help a special needs dog or donate to an organisation like Soi Dog Foundation so they can continue their amazing work.”

CHARITY AUCTION TO HELP DISABLED ANIMALS

This is your chance to bid on beautiful original artworks and signed memorabilia in our ‘Charity Auction To Help Disabled Animals’.

This is a sealed bid auction, so all you need to do is decide which item you would like to bid for – noting the reserve price for each – and send us your bid with the lot number and name by email to protectallwildlife@btinternet.com by 21:00 on the 17th of April . We will email you to let you know if your bid is the highest. Postage costs will be calculated when the auction ends. Good luck!

All funds raised help support the Miracle’s Mission Centre for Disabled Animals and their work in the rescue, treatment and rehoming of sick, injured and disabled animals .

Happy bidding and good luck 🐾.

Lot 1

This signed After Life image has been very kindly donated by animal welfare great Ricky Gervais.

Reserve £100

RICKY GERVAIS AFTER LIFE 1

Lot 2

This signed After Life image has been very kindly donated by animal welfare great Ricky Gervais.

Reserve £100

RICKY GERVAIS AFTER LIFE 2

Lot 3

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Badger by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 54 x 41 cms

Reserve: £100

Lot 4

This is an ORIGINAL pencil study of a Rhino by Dane Youkers . This STUNNING piece measures 28 x 36 cms .

Reserve: £100

RHINO

Lot 5

‘The Animals Fight Back’ original watercolour by Charito Lilley. This thought-provoking piece measures 40 x 30 cms

Reserve: £50

THE ANIMALS FIGHT BACK

Lot 6

‘Tails Erect’ by Wildlife Artist Carol Barrett. This ORIGINAL study of Warthogs is in watercolour and ink and is on Rhino Dung Paper! It is mounted and measures 40 x 30 cms.

Reserve: £200

TAILS ERECT

Lot 7

A ‘Dazzle Of Zebras’ by Jan Ferguson. This stunning print measures 41 x 30 cms

Reserve: £30

A DAZZLE OF ZEBRAS

Lot 8

Limited Edition print titled ‘Highland Monarch’ Michael Demain. This stunning measures 56 x 34 cms.

Reserve: £40

HIGHLAND MONARCH

Lot 9

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Cheetah by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 57 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100

CHEETAH

Lot 10

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Fox by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 58 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100

FOX

Lot 11

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Clouded Leopard by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 57 x 42 cms

Reserve: £100

CLOUDED LEOPARD

Lot 12

A beautiful print of Tiger cubs by Jan Ferguson. This piece measures 41 x 31 cms.

Reserve: £30

TIGER CUBS

Lot 13

This lot is for an official Scottish Rugby ball signed by the 2021/2022 squad.

Reserve: £75

OFFICIAL SIGNED SCOTTISH RUGBY BALL 2021/2022 SQUAD

Lot 14

This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Jaguar by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 57 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100

JAGUAR

Lot 15

This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a pair of baby Snow Leopards by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 59 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100

A PAIR OF BABY SNOW LEOPARDS

Lot 16

This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Snow Leopard by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 59 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100

SNOW LEOPARD

Lot 17

A stunning Limited Edition print titled ‘Endangered Nobility’ by Kim Thompson. This beautiful study of the noble Lion measures 60 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £75

ENDANGERED NOBILITY

Lot 18

‘Mischief Maker’ is a beautiful Ltd Edition study of a Lion cub by Julie Rhodes. It is mounted and measures 560 x 380mm.

Reserve: £50

MISCHIEF MAKER

Lot 19

The beautiful Butterflies In The Round by Cath Hodsman. This Limited Print measures 51 x 41 cms.

Reserve: £50

BUTTERFLIES IN THE ROUND

Lot 20

This lot is ‘A Mother’s Love’, an adorable original watercolour, pastel and pencil of a Lioness and her cubs by wildlife artist Milo. This beautiful piece measures 30 x 28 cms.

Reserve: £75

A MOTHER’S LOVE

Lot 21

Who can resist ‘Those Eyes’? This delightful original watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a baby Orangutan is by Milo and measures 59 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100

ORANGUTAN

Lot 22

A custom made digital pet portraits makes a wonderful keepsake or present for your loved ones and are ideal for framing.

Reserve: £25

DIGITAL PET PORTRAIT

Thank you for taking the time to look at our auction and happy bidding.

If you would like to make a donation to our fundraiser to help support our work you can do so at Fundraiser To Help Disabled Animals. Thank you.