YEP Says: Why the theft of pets must now be treated seriously

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IT IS a crime which few people are aware of but it brings misery to hundreds.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reveals today that 600 people have had their pets snatched by thieves since 2014.

More beloved pets were snatched in West Yorkshire than anywhere else in the county.

And we would suggest most – if not all – of these pets are much loved. Pets are very important parts of family life and to lose one can be heartbreaking.

From Japanese Akitas to poodles, the figures also reveal that the number of dogs stolen is increasing year-on-year.

From January to September this year police have recorded 150 families that have had their dog stolen.

A charity tells us that families often feel “sheer devastation”.

“These are family members and for the majority of people, it’s like losing a child,” we are told.

“In a lot of cases when dogs go missing for elderly people, it’s their only companion and that can be very difficult.

“For some people, they just don’t know where to start.”

But very few if any of these thefts result in a conviction, which only compounds the misery.

It is time that the authorities treated these crimes just as importantly as they treat thefts of cars and other valuables.