The total number of dogs stolen last year was down 22% year-on-year in 2022, possibly due to reduced demand for pet dogs overall, new research reveals.
The research, by Direct Line Pet Insurance, shows an estimated 2,160 dogs were reported stolen in 2022.
Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of thefts at 396 in 2022, 219 more thefts than Kent, the region with the second highest thefts. West Yorkshire saw the third largest thefts in 2022 with almost 130 dogs stolen.
Leicestershire Police reported the biggest increase in dog theft in recent years, up from 24 in 2015 to 75 last year. There were also increases in the West Midlands and Devon and Cornwall, police forces there revealed.
American bulldogs were most often targeted, accounting for 90 of the total, the next most popular targets were Staffordshire bull terriers and French bulldogs, Chihuahuas, German shepherds, and Jack Russells.
Madeline Pike, a Direct Line Vet Nurse, said: “Precautions such as not leaving your dog tied up outside a shop, in an empty vehicle or keeping it on the lead when in busy areas, will reduce the likelihood of being targeted.”