Revealed: The top ten breeds of dogs stolen in last five years

editorial image

There have 805 dog thefts in West Yorkshire over the past five years, according to new figures.

More than 100 of the dogs were Staffordshire bull terriers, which are often stolen to then be trained for dog fighting.

Jack Russells, Chihuahuas and French bulldogs were also popular breeds for thieves.

There were 127 dogs stolen in Wakefield, 27 stolen in Batley and Spen, 15 stolen in Dewsbury and 39 stolen in Calderdale.

Only 42 of the dogs stolen were subsequently found.

Charges were brought in only 18 cases, with convictions in only nine cases.

In 2013 there were 148 dog thefts, with 112 in 2014, 176 in 2015, 210 in 2016 and 159 in 2017 up to October.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: “We take all reports of theft extremely seriously and are happy to work with householders and businesses to offer crime prevention advice.

“In particular with dogs, we would encourage their owners to get them micro-chipped and ideally keep them indoors or in secure premises when home alone. Where a dog has not been micro-chipped it can be difficult to trace them and return them to their rightful owner.”

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals department, said: “It’s heartbreaking for people when the pets they love like members of their family are stolen.

“Putting in place a few measures can help prevent your pet from being stolen or becoming a target including ensuring pets are wearing collars with up-to-date ID tags and having them microchipped.”