MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa, has written to the Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon Priti Patel, to call for tougher sentences for those convicted of pet theft.
The MP’s request to the Minister comes amid a reported 250% increase in pet thefts across the country as demand for dogs has risen during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Costa said that he has been ‘shocked’ to hear of the number of local reports concerning dog thefts in recent weeks, including Logan, a three-year old Cockapoo stolen from kennels in North Kilworth and eight miniature Dachshunds taken from a home in Acresford near Measham as well as further reported incidents in Broughton Astley and Gilmorton.
Mr Costa said, “As a dog owner myself, I know that our pets hold a very special place as members of our families, and the theft of these beloved animals is a particularly abhorrent and damaging crime. For many, our pets are our best friends and hugely important companions, and the emotional toll of having your animal taken from you can cause unimaginable strain and anguish. As such, these factors should absolutely be reflected in stronger legislation and sentencing in order to deter such senseless crimes and punish those responsible to the fullest extent of the law”.
Mr Costa added, “I have been shocked to hear of some of the truly awful instances of people’s beloved animals being taken both locally and nationally, and with rates of pet theft soaring I would strongly encourage all animal owners to be extra vigilant in the coming weeks. I know pet owners are among the most responsible in society, however with the majority of dogs stolen being taken from gardens, I would ask local people to ensure their gardens are secure and to please not leave animals unattended outside shops or in cars”.