North Yorkshire dog owners urged to take part in dog theft survey

Poppy was stolen from Scorton in November.

Dog owners have been urged to take part in a survey on dog theft.

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, is inviting dog owners to complete a new national survey to better understand dog theft.

The research comes after a spate of high-profile incidents nationally leading experts to believe criminals are exploiting the huge hike in prices and demand for puppies during the coronavirus restrictions.

In November, two dogs were stolen from Scorton.

The two springer spaniel bitches called Poppy and Meg were taken during the night.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is reviewing pet theft nationally and considering additional options for enforcement, including harsher penalties for offenders.

The results of the survey, which is being co-ordinated by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, will help find out how widespread the fear of dog theft is, and whether there is support for tougher enforcement.

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “I know that dog theft is becoming more of a concern for many people after a series of high-profile incidents across the country so it’s important owners across North Yorkshire and York have their say in this survey.

“It is still not common, but its impacts can be devastating both for individuals and families whose dogs are part of the family and for farmers and rural businesses where dogs have play a crucial role in everything they do.”

The 60-second survey can be completed at http://bit.ly/DogTheftSurveyNY and will be open until 5pm on Friday, March 12.

Advice on keeping dogs safe is available on the North Yorkshire Police website: Dog thefts – North Yorkshire Police | North Yorkshire Police