There is still a mismatch between the law and sentencing guidelines. Can you help to give a final push, so pets get the protection they deserve? #PetTheftReform

There is still a mismatch between the law and sentencing guidelines. Can you help to give a final push, so pets get the protection they deserve? #PetTheftReform

From the SUN: “Ruth was reunited with Holtz SEVEN years later, when the puppy farmers, who stole her and used her as a breeding bitch, dumped the now- skinny animal by the road.

Holtz was taken to a vets in Norfolk — 140 miles from where she went missing — where they scanned her microchip and called Ruth.

She said: “I was dumbstruck. When I first saw her, Holtz looked puzzled then began wagging her tail.

“She was skin and bone. The vets believe she had pups recently and she had mastitis as she’d been used to breed so many times. She looked so thin and helpless.”

Come on – PET THEFT REFORM – let’s get busy. Ross Thomson MP has the 2nd reading of his bill in a couple of weeks – NOVEMBER 23rd. Let’s stop letting these thieves off with a caution, it’s not the same as stealing our phone. This is life changing. 

Email your MP now and make sure we don’t get another UpSkirting fiasco on this key second reading of the Bill.

It’s really easy to write to or email your MP and your help will go a long way: here’s what to do:-

To find your MP, enter your postcode and hit next to find their constituents address and email address. Just click on this link:-

Dear ______MP,

My name:

My address:

My postcode:

My email


I recently signed Dr. Daniel Allen’s Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance #PetTheftPetition to classify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right and I’m happy to tell you it achieved the required 100,000 signatures in just four months. Pet Theft Reform was debated on the 2nd July 2018 in Westminster Hall and since then the support has continued to grow. Animal welfare charities such as Dog Trust and Blue Cross also continue to back the demand for this change, including many MP’s cross party.

Responding at the end of the debate Minister, George Eustice stated “Let us use this debate to be absolutely clear that the Government interpret the latest guidance from the Sentencing Council that the theft of a pet should generally be treated as a category two or three offence.”

The evidence to date does not reflect this interpretation so I ask you as my MP to bring my concern to the Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt. Hon. David Gauke, drawing his attention to the Government’s position regarding the crime and in doing so ask him to encourage the Sentencing Council to classify pet theft as a crime in its own right, within the Theft Act and so act as a greater deterrent as is the case with vehicles and bicycles.

I appreciate the law as it stands should act as a deterrent but as the vile crime continues to increase year on year it clearly is not working and as long as a sentient being is categorised as property this will remain the case.

I would also like to mention that Ross Thomson MP’s Private Members Pets (Theft) Bill will have it’s second reading in Parliament on 23rd November 2018. I wonder if you are able to to attend and debate the general principles and themes of the Bill?

I thank you for your time and look forward to learning of the Minister’s response to your letter.

Kind regards,

I support #PetTheftReform

For more information:

Read the page in the latest issue of Dogs Today if you need to know more.

Here’s the text if it’s easier to read:

Pet theft reform

There is still a mismatch between the law and sentencing guidelines. Can you help to give a final push, so pets get the protection they deserve?

Beverley Cuddy

Debbie Matthews, co-founder of the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (Sampa), explains, “The process for pet theft reform has been slow and frustrating. The laws are in place, but because of vague guidelines, there has been confusion in our courts and the light to non-existent sentencing has sent a green light to prospective pet thieves.

“The Theft Act currently mixes inanimate objects together with our beloved dogs and cats. During the pet theft debate, Defra minister George Eustice revealed the government’s interpretation on pet theft was that it was already a category 2 or 3 offence.

“We have pointed out that current sentencing does not reflect this – it is most often a much less serious 3 or 4 – but in reality, because it is perceived as such a small-tariff crime, very often those people whose pets have been stolen struggle even to get the crime recorded, never mind investigated.

“So far, Sampa has received no reassurance from the Defra minister that the government’s intent that the crime is treated seriously – as expressed in the recent and well-supported parliamentary debate – will be clearly reflected in the sentencing guidelines.

“At Sampa, we believe a simple amendment to the existing Theft Act would act as a much more effective deterrent to thieves and this would better protect our pets.

“We need your help – we need to you to contact your MP and Mr Eustice, and ask for their support for the second reading of Ross Thomson’s Pets (Theft) Bill, which is now scheduled for 23 November 2018.”

It’s essential that your MP knows how popular this reform will be. Many of these private bills are routinely blocked on their second reading, often by the infamous ‘upskirting’ MP who blocks them as a matter of principle.

You all know how phenomenally successful you were at lobbying for Lucy’s Law; we now need you to work your magic once again.

Do thank your MP for what they did earlier in the year with Lucy’s Law and ask them to get behind pet theft reform and support Ross Thomson’s bill.

There are lots of ideas for what you might include in your letter or email here:

Why do we need pet theft reform?

The monetary value of a pet should be irrelevant for the categorisation of the crime – all pets are priceless regardless of their purchase price.

We need to ensure that police forces are given appropriate guidance and training to record and investigate cases.

More than 60 dogs are stolen every week in England and Wales. Fewer than five per cent of cases lead to convictions.

Pet theft is rising, causing huge distress. The theft of a pet is life-changing; pets are part of our families yet the courts treat their theft as no different than the theft of inanimate objects.

Dogs Today Magazine

Beverley Cuddy, Editor and Sampa Patron.

The Sun newspaper article:-