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Reclassify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right.

Submitted on Wednesday 7th February 2018

Published on Thursday 8th February 2018

Current status: Closed

Closed: Wednesday 8th August 2018

Signatures: 107,352

Tagged with

Crime ~ England ~ pet theft ~ Police ~ UK ~ Wales

Petition Action

Reclassify the theft of a pet to a specific crime in its own right.

Petition Details

Review the sentencing guidelines for theft offences, so that where the theft of a family pet is involved, monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of the crime for sentencing purposes.

Ensure Police Forces are given appropriate guidance and training to record and investigate cases.

Additional Information

More than 60 dogs are stolen every week in England and Wales. Less than 5% of cases lead to convictions.

Pet theft is currently seen as no different to the theft of an inanimate object - despite pets being sentient beings. The theft of pets is generally categorised as robbery or burglary, but lead to minimal sentences. Enforcement of existing laws do not currently act as a deterrent or fit the crime itself.

For more information, please see: http://www.stolenandmissingpetsalliance.co.uk/


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Tuesday 27th February 2018

We understand the distress caused by the theft of a much loved family pet and laws are in place to deal firmly with offenders who commit such crimes.

Theft of a pet is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968. The maximum penalty is 7 years’ imprisonment. The Sentencing Council updated its guidelines in relation to sentencing for theft offences in February 2016. The guidelines take account of the emotional distress and therefore harm that theft of personal items such as a pet can have on the victim and accordingly recommends higher penalties for such offences. Compulsory microchipping introduced in 2016 makes it easier for lost or stolen dogs to be reunited with their owners.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Parliamentary Debate

This petition was debated in Parliament on Monday 2nd July 2018

See Debate Details

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