In law our pets are classified as property, second hand goods, valued under £500, the punishment is usually a messily £250 fine, if the thief is caught! The Sentencing Council’s Guidelines exclude any serious sentencing making this a low-risk high-reward crime, a gift for dog thieves. A new specific offence for Pet Theft would give courts access to appropriate custodial sentences to act as a deterrent, protect the public and give the Police more powers.
SAMPA has been campaigning to protect our domestic pets from theft since 2014 and we are very proud that our work, alongside Dr Daniel Allen, founder of Pet Theft Reform, resulted in the Government setting up a Pet Theft Taskforce with their report saying, in September 2021, that there will now be a new Pet Abduction offence, and that the new offence for Pet Abduction would be included in the Kept Animals Bill.
NEWSFLASH: THE GOVERNMENT DITCHES THE KEPT ANIMALS BILL on 25th May 2023.
More information on our news page with many missing pets and please sign the new petition (link in our drop down menu), asking the Government to reverse their decision not to proceed with the Kept Animals Bill.
SAMPA’S annual Dog Theft Awareness Day is on 14 March and we are lucky to have celebrities Ricky Gervais, David Walliams, Sarah Cox and Claire Balding joining forces to endorse the fact that our dogs and cats are not property but members of our families, special thanks to Emma Kennedy who produced the video, in calling for change in law to stop spiral Pet Theft in the UK.