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The petition states dog theft should carry eight years minimum sentencing and a fine of at least £5,000. Dog theft is not currently a specific offence. The crime of theft carries a sentence of up to seven years according to the Theft Act 1968.
The government responds to all petitions that receive more than 10,000 signatures and Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,00 signatures for debate.
The petition's description reads in part: "Thieves think it's all too easy and the punishment can be nothing compared to the gain with a shocking minority of dogs being reunited with their families.
"Dog theft is not currently a specific offence and the crime of theft carries a sentence of up to seven years according to the Theft Act 1968, but this doesn't target the specific problem which is dog theft."
Hannah told Tyla: "The petition is important to me because I see my dog as a major part of my family and so do many other people.
"During lockdown it seems dog theft has gone up and up and you never hear the criminal has been caught and sentenced. It's seen to be like stealing sweets from a shop and it's so much more than that.
"People are actually attacking people for their dogs, no matter who it is whether that be young or elderly. If we keep pushing to make this a law, keep pushing to see that it gets all the signatures it can then maybe someone will listen before it's too late!"
The rise in dog thefts is believed to be driven by the high demand for puppies which has lead to a surge in prices.
Wayne May, senior police liaison officer at Dog Lost told explained to Tyla on Monday why dognapping has become such a huge problem in the last year. He said: "People were looking for companion animals at home during lockdown, which inadvertently sparked a rise in the value of dogs in general which obviously has been capitalised on.
"We were running out of dogs in the UK. We also have a big problem of dogs being illegally imported into the UK without paperwork at the moment and obviously people are having their dogs stolen specifically to be bred from."
An RSPCA spokesperson said: "It's really concerning to see how many dogs are being stolen each year and we'd urge anyone who believed their pooch has been taken to report the incident to police immediately."
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