Pandemic dog-napping, by Antoinette Olivia Taylor

You don’t see many of that type of dogs around here!  What is its breed?
I have never seen that breed of dog before! What is it?
Should I be scared or just cautious?

My Bolognese, Luigi is always willing to pull at his lead to greet people, especially when they reach out to him. People are so fond of the ‘white ball of fluff’ and his high-five greeting as he stands joyously on his hind legs. The attention and affection given by Luigi’s fans can cause one to lose focus and leave oneself open to being a victim of dog-napping.

The government has officially launched a pet theft task force, to investigate the rising cases of dog-napping since lockdown first began in March 2020. It comes after research from Direct Line Pet Insurance in April 2021 revealed that reports of dog thefts had increased by a fifth in 2020, with estimated 2438 dogs reported stolen to the police across the UK – up from 2026 the year before and 1,774 in 2016.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has said that dog theft crime is ‘particularly prevalent’. Despite this – dog theft in current U.K. law is not a crime. Stolen pets are considered ‘objects’ – akin to mobile phones or handbags. Dog-nappers, are becoming more bold and violent. Thieves are known to pull leads off wrists, or slash at leads. Do not forget Lady Gaga‘s two French bulldogs. She lost her two dogs when her dog walker was shot and her dogs were not returned until she offered a large reward.

In my endeavours I have bought an anti-dog theft spray from Amazon, which has a marking – criminal identifier, together with a police approved security alarm. Both are pinned on my doggy walking bag, in easy reach. I try to vary my times of walking and my routes. I also always walk with at least one other person. I remain vigilant of my surroundings and focused. I avoid distractions, like mobile phones or listening to music whilst walking Luigi.

I am often asked how much that I have paid for Luigi? On the face of it, such a question seems harmless, but you should try to avoid answering. Thieves look for high valued dogs. Suffice it to say, a high valued dog is usually a rare dog. When faced with such a question, I simply refer them to Luigi‘s breeder. I was even once asked where I lived.

Apparently, when Luigi is finally castrated, he shall be even less thief attractive. But I currently adore my Luigi’s playful personality as it is. Whether I decide to castrate him is still out with the jury!

Antoinette Olivia TAYLOR
At Cause 4 Pause Ltd
antoinette@taylorbridge.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

I live in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex with 2 Bolognese and I show one of my dogs.