One dog theft a month leaving families in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley Families with 'heartache and distress' , police warn

One dog theft a month is leaving families in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley with 'heartache and distress', police warn

Thieves have struck 41 times in the area in the past three years, with thefts soaring by nearly 65 percent since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, police data reveals.

A police spokesperson said: “Dogs are often part of the family and we appreciate the heartache and distress that having a pet stolen can cause.

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“As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown and more people working from home, more people have become dog owners and demand has gone up – sometimes resulting in criminals taking advantage by stealing dogs to sell them on.”

One dog a month is being stolen in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley, police warn. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
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To help keep pets safe, officers are advising people to:

“Keep an ID tag on their dog at all times;

“Avoid leaving them in the garden unattended;

“Lock gates and ensure there are no places where animals can escape or be pulled through;

“Fit a gate bell or alarm so it makes a sound when someone opens it;

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“Have their pet microchipped;

“Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car;

“Take photographs of their pet to prove ownership if it’s stolen and then found;

“Report dog theft to police straight away.”

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Anyone with information about a stolen dog, or suspicious behaviour, can report it to police on 101 or via www.lancashire.police.uk