The government has announced details of a new offence of dog theft – helping to crack down on this abhorrent crime.
Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire, said:
The loss of a much-loved dog can cause devastation for families and it is right that the law is updated to reflect this unique emotional impact.
I welcome the news that the government will introduce a new criminal offence as part of the Kept Animals Bill that will crack down on dog theft and put people who steal these much loved pets behind bars for up to five years.
Prior to this new offence, pet theft was treated as a loss of property to the owner. This new offence will take into account the emotional distress caused to both the owner and the dog and will improve judges’ ability to hand down more targeted penalties and sentences for pet thieves. A provision will also be made in the Bill to extend the offence to other pets in the future, should evidence support this.
This new offence will bring peace of mind to dog owners across the country while bringing the criminals who commit these cruel offences to justice.