Met Police records 769 domestic pet thefts since 2013
A total of 567 pet dogs and 90 cats have been stolen in London since July 2013, figures obtained by London Assembly member Steve O’Connell show.
Dog thefts, which made up the large majority of domestic pet thefts across London, increased 16 per cent from 186 in 2014 to 217 last year.
In total the Met recorded 769 incidents of domestic pet theft over the past three years, including rabbits, hamsters, snakes, ferrets and several tortoises.
Cat thefts were down last year, with 26 incidents compared to the 38 recorded in 2014.
Since July 2013, 14 tortoises, 24 rabbits, 14 birds, 4 guinea pigs and three snakes have been stolen.
Pets can be very valuable, with pedigree dogs often worth thousands of pounds and tortoises fetching several hundred, even on the black market.
Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell said:
“These figures show what a serious issue this is for pet owners across London. Thefts are becoming increasingly common due to the amounts of money available to sellers on the black market.
“For the owner, the heartbreak is immense as they lose a much loved pet that may have been with them and part of the family for many years.
“As an animal lover myself I will be looking into what work the Met is carrying out to tackle this increasing problem and will seek reassurance for pet owners that this issue is being taken seriously.”