Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, prices of our canine friends have sky rocketed as demand increases. Sadly, this has also meant a huge rise in dog theft, with many owners now in fear of walking their dogs alone.

Some breeds are now costing upwards of three and four times their pre-lockdown price. These include: Cocker Spaniels, Cockapoos and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels but the top breed for rising prices remains Cavapoos – one would set you back around £1,000 in 2019 but now cost upwards of £2,800.

Image: Cavapoo puppy, source: Unsplash

Margaret Whitehead is just one of the many owners who has fallen victim to these devastating dog thefts.

Back in November of last year, Margaret’s four Welsh Terrier bitches were stolen from their kennel overnight and have not been returned or found.

“We are absolutely desperate to get our dogs back home to us where they belong”
-Margaret Whitehead, Victim of dog theft

The thieves had shut her mum’s bedroom window to avoid alerting anyone to their presence and caused substantial damage to the kennel entrance as they stole Margaret’s furry family members.

Margaret and her family are devastated by the crime but also frustrated at the lack of support and intervention.

“We have had to do everything ourselves, as the police force closed the case the next day… and very minimal press coverage because TV and radio stations were not interested in our story.

“We are absolutely desperate to get our dogs back home where they belong.”


If you have any information or possible sightings of Margaret’s dogs, they have been listed on Dog Lost UK. Here you can take a look at Queenie (one of Margaret’s four stolen dogs) alert page.

Dog theft is now moving away from one-off and rare instances and moving into more organised crime.

Justine Quirk, PR Volunteer for Dog Lost UK  says that since 2019 there has been a staggering 170% increase in dog’s being reported stolen.

“I’m very conscious that in the mindset of a thief, I’m walking around with £6,000 worth of puppy”
-Justin Quirk, PR Volunteer Dog Lost UK

The public are taking to viral social media app TikTok, to share safety tips on how to keep our dogs safe:


How to stop a dog thief UK edition 🇬🇧#dogknapped #dogtheft #stolendog #dogwalking #selfdefence #dogthief #biggestsecret #dramaticmoments

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod

The main guidance from pet charities and organisations, in keeping your dog safe from theft are:

  1. Never leave your dog unattended outside a shop.
  2. Don’t leave a dog unattended in a vehicle (even if it’s locked!)
  3. Change your walking route and time regularly.
  4. Make sure your gardens, house and outdoor kennels are secure.

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