This year, plenty of Brits have decided to buy or adopt a dog or puppy during lockdown.
And, while our pooches bring nothing but joy a scary crimewave of dognapping has swept across the country.
In fact, GoCompare Pet found that there was an increase of 189% in the number of dogs being stolen compared to the year before.
The number was calculated by analysing social data from Doglost.co.uk.
So, while the pet industry is booming in 2021 so is the heartbreak having your pup stolen – with some instances hitting headlines due to their severity and violence.
GoCompare also analysed Freedom of Information requests sent to police constabularies across the UK.
In combination with doglost.co.uk data the report revealed the most targeted breeds, the UK’s hotspots and the percentage of those recovered.
Between 2018 and 2020, there were 164 cases of Staffordshire bull terriers reported stolen by their owners making them the most stolen breed.
On average each dog from this breed costs £1,028.
This amounts to a value of £168,623 worth of dogs stolen over the past three years.
Let alone the devastating emotional toll on owners and families.
Following on from staffs, Chihuahuas and Jack Russels were the second and third most stolen with French Bulldogs in fourth.
Fifth was Cocker Spaniels and sixth was pugs.
And, Labradors were the seventh most stolen dog followed by Bulldogs, Lurchers and then German Shepherds.
The total cost of dog thefts in the second to tenth most commonly stolen breeds ranged from £20,101 to £149,638.
But, which counties were dognapping hotspots?
GoCompare found that out of the 26 police forces, West Yorkshire saw the most dog theft with 430 reported stolen between 2018 to 2020.
Next up was Kent, with 358, Devon and Cornwall, with 222, and Northumbria with 193.
However, when it came to whole regions of the UK, the South East was the number one hot spot with 239 thefts, followed by Central England with 135.
Sadly, data also showed that only 25% of stolen pooches are recovered.
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Sally Jaques, Pet Expert at Gocompare added: “Many people who have always dreamed of owning a dog took the plunge while they were spending so much time at home during lockdown which is why the price of dogs has risen so sharply.
“Owning a dog is now a big investment.
"But, worryingly, that rise seems to have coincided with an increased number of dogs going missing, presumed stolen, so it’s absolutely crucial that pet owners make sure they know what they are covered for on their pet insurance policy, should the worst happen.
“We know that owning a pet isn’t all about the money, but pet insurance policies can help you offer a reward to find your lost or stolen pet as well as advertise for its safe return."
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