Hexham's local MP Guy Opperman has launched a survey to hear the views of people across Tynedale and Ponteland about how to tackle pet theft.
As the demand for pets has risen during the lockdown, so has the price of pets – up to around 400% on last year. And it is estimated thefts have risen by 250% with criminal gangs involved. Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 166% in the months between March and August following the start of lockdown last year.
The Kennel Club has said that less than 5% of cases result in a criminal conviction and 52% of dog thefts take place in gardens.
In response, the Government recently launched a cross-departmental Pet Theft Taskforce to investigate the recently reported rise in pet theft since the start of lockdown and look at new measures to tackle it.
Hexham's local MP, Guy Opperman said:
‘My dog Zola and cat Alfie are part of the family - I would hate the thought of anything happening to them.
The rise in pet theft must be tackled. That's why I've launched my pet theft survey to find out what more local people think should be done, and I'll be feeding the results back to the new Pet Theft Taskforce.'
Local residents can take part in the survey by visiting guyopperman.co.uk/PetTheftSurvey.