It is not surprising that many in Britain yearn to own a dog, as it is a panacea that treats fear, loneliness and the absence of exercise due to the Corona pandemic, and this trend has not escaped from the eyes of the underworld.
Pets4Homes, an electronic platform that specializes in pet news, stated that the prices of dogs have doubled over the past year due to the increasing demand for their possession, and from here the thieves seek to make profits from this new market.
When Will Bevan found out that his five newborn pups had been stolen, he said he felt as if he had "been hit in the stomach."
He explained to the German news agency DPA that the puppies were living in a pen, and that the thieves left the gate wide open.
Bevan turned to social media to ask for clues to the location of the puppies, and his posts were reposted thousands of times.
DogLost - which runs a database on lost dogs - says that 465 dogs were stolen in Britain and Ireland last year, a number more than two and a half times the number recorded in 2019.
A secret investigator told the "BBC" British TV - according to what was quoted by the German news agency - that dog theft may be a relatively rare crime, but it has turned into a kind of prohibited trade, with millions of dollars in revenue.
The BBC news report stated that not only are the puppies at risk of being stolen, but also that old dogs are also stolen for reproductive use, and are often placed under painful conditions.
The dogs are injected with hormones so that they can give birth to 3 or 4 puppies annually, according to the undercover investigator of the TV channel.
Breeding dogs has become a big commercial operation (German)
The Royal Society for Animal Welfare says that "dog breeding became a big commercial operation, and we uncovered large criminal gangs that earned millions of pounds."
Wayne May - a volunteer working with the "Dog Lost" organization - told Deutsche Presse-Agentur: "In the event that the thief is caught stealing or selling a dog, he will be punished by a fine of about 250 pounds (350 dollars)."
He added, "If a thief stole a dog and breeded it to obtain 5 puppies, he could sell one of them at a price ranging between 3 and 5 thousand pounds sterling."
Dog robbery can become traumatic and cause great suffering to owners, says Amanda Blakeman, deputy chief of police for Britain's National Council of Chiefs of Police.
She advises dog owners not to post pictures of new puppies that were born with them on social media platforms, in order to avoid attracting thieves' attention to them.
On the other hand, Bevan expressed his hope that he would be able to recover his stolen crimes by raising awareness of the issue on social media platforms.
It seems on the horizon that there is reason for hope, despite all that, about 200 stolen dogs were returned to their owners last year, according to data from the "Dog Lost" organization.