A worried pet owner has launched a petition to make dog theft a criminal offence after seeing a rise in cases across Staffordshire.
This comes after two attempted dog-nappings took place in Biddulph earlier this month.
Now North Staffordshire dog owner Hannah Goldstraw has launched the petition to make dog theft a criminal offence and said ‘something needs to happen about it’.
The 25-year-old said: “I’ve been on social media talking to other people and found that dog theft is quite rife at the moment. After a bit of research there weren’t really any specific punishments.
“Very few dogs get returned to their owners which is quite sad. It’s upsetting and frustrating.
“I’m hoping for it to get the signatures and it to become a crime or get looked at. Something needs to happen about it.
“It’s not something out there already. We want to get it as far and wide as possible to get as much support as we can.”
Hannah wants the government to make dog theft punishable with a minimum sentence of eight years for offenders as well as a fine of at least £5,000.
So far the petition has over twenty five hundred signatures but it needs 10,000 for the government to respond.
The petition reads: “Dogs are like members of the family to many people and current laws do not reflect this. Dogs are a support network for so many, a family member, a lifeline.
“There have been reports of substantial increases in dog theft in recent months, with the most loyal of animals torn away from its family. Thieves think it’s all too easy and the punishment can be nothing compared to the gain with a shocking minority of dogs being reunited with their families.
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“Dog theft is not currently a specific offence and the crime of theft carries a sentence of up to seven years according to the Theft Act 1968, but this doesn’t target the specific problem which is dog theft.
“Dogs should be seen to have their own offence to protect them. Current laws and penalties are not enough justice for the families and dogs that go through this trauma. They protect us, so we will protect them.”
Sign the petition here.