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14 February 2022

Not a day goes by when we do not see postings on social media about stolen pets. The magnitude of pet theft is clear for all to see. Since our last update, the issue of pet theft has resulted in the creation of a Pet Theft Task Force, tasked with finding effective solutions to address this devastating crime.

We are disappointed to see that pet theft reform has now been made specific and is now being progressed as Dog Theft Reform. This was not the intention of the #PetTheft Reform. Whilst dog theft may receive a lot of media attention, the theft of other pets is as equally devastating. To focus on dog theft alone, seems to be a political move.

We are aware that there is a current petition requesting that the theft of cats is included in legislative considerations. We would prefer that the Pet Theft Task Force do not make any distinction between species. Anyone who has a pet, appreciates the depth of relationship we build with the pets we introduce to our families. Pet theft for the thieves is about money. Pet theft for pet families is about the devastation these thefts create. The impact and trauma, not only on the human family but also on the stolen animals.

The fundamental issue about Pet Theft is that the stolen item is a sentient being, not an inanimate object.


… and on it goes.

Anyone with any social media accounts or who keeps up with current affairs cannot possibly fail to be disturbed by the multiple daily reports of pets being stolen. Big dogs, little dogs, old dogs, young dogs, each one of them such loved and cherished family members. As if the pet theft alone is not enough, the increased brazenness and aggression that is now being seen from the thieves is a real concern and we fear it is only a matter of time before this will lead to a serious injury.

Among with the dedicated team at PetTheftReform, we welcome and support the confirmation in the Governments Action Plan for Animal Welfare that the Government are going to crack down on pet theft and that they have created a Pet Theft Taskforce to consider how best to do this.

We were delighted to see that the inaugural meeting of the newly formed taskforce included Dr Daniel Allen, who has steadfastly campaigned on this issue for several years, faced several campaign setbacks but, to his absolute credit, has managed to remain focused on the campaign aims.

You may also have noticed that several police forces have taken positive action themselves to direct resources to Pet Theft within their forces, a decision we welcome and support. Such actions have already brought about some significant results and many stolen dogs have been returned to their rightful families. There is no way to measure the potential trauma these dogs may have experienced during their time away from their families. We do anticipate that some of these poor dogs will have been put through experiences that may have lasting implications for them, behaviourally and/or physically.


We continue to add our voice and support to the #PetTheftReform campaign and urge you to keep up to date with it’s progression by following their website where full details will be provided. This campaign is so important as this could be anyone of us.

We at FOAL all share our lives with a variety of animals and we are very aware that we are all, potentially, just a theft away from these thefts being one of ours.

January 2021

Dr Dan has launched a new website with all the details of his campaign - do go and have a look

A quick scan of any media platform will highlight the prevalence in cases of pets being stolen.


The #PetTheftReform involves the third petition by Dr Daniel Allen campaigning for change in the law to make pet theft crime a specific offence with custodial sentences.

The petition ran for 6 months and gathered 143,633 signatures.

The petition was debated on Monday 19th October where every attendee acknowledged the devastating impact of this offence. Disappointingly the DEFRA Minister, Victoria Prentis MP, whilst appreciating the campaign concerns, confirmed that the Government were not minded to create a new offence. 


Instead the Minister suggested that this issue would be better addressed through the Ministry of Justice and by a review of the Sentencing guidelines. Tom Hunt MP was able to confirm that he has started discussion with the Lord Chancellor to progress this line of approach. 

Whilst we were disappointed that the Government do not support the campaign’s main request, namely to make pet theft a distinct offence, we are pleased to add our voices in support of the campaign and the call for the reclassification of pet theft as a category 2 offence in the Sentencing Guidelines.  

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