Success on Dog and Pet Theft Petition Law Changing
Please Sign My Petition
Dog Theft Petition: I started a petition 2 years ago on dog theft asking for three major changes to the archaic 1968 theft act.
This petition is still live because we have now achieved the first two of the change.org petitions demands’ we just need more signatures to make sure number three is adhered to, and that government and the courts do not backslide on sentencing. Currently, we have 530,000 + signatures and the petition has already had a massive impact.
The picture above is from a raid on a traveller’s site in Orpington Kent where 49 dogs were seized. My thanks to the Met Poice for the pictures It was announced recently that the law will change to the following:
A new offence of “pet abduction” is being drawn up to tackle the dramatic rise in dog theft over the last five years and the UK will accept that some animals are sentient and therefore the sentencing must reflect the impact this horrific crime has on not just the family members but the animal itself.
This was the thrust of the petition.
- A complete change in the law to recognise companion animal theft as a specific crime not only to the owners of the pet but as a crime on the pet as well. In the main, it is dogs that are stolen despite that I wanted to include all companion animals ✔ Done
- For companion animals like Dogs and Cats to be classed as sentient. The word Sentient means that they can feel and express emotions such as distress, joy, love, loss, pain, happiness, belonging and fear. ✔ Done
- For sentences to increase dramatically from the derisory small fine and a slapped wrist to compulsory prison sentencing, they had to change the law and make a specific law to cover the theft of domestic pets. I had asked for an automatic jail sentence of 2 years with no early release for the 1st offence and 5 years for any subsequent offences. This is what we should still fight for. Part of the new law will reflect the fact that for families pets are not just property. Having one stolen is a terrible tragedy for both the owner and the pet. It is believed that the purpose-made new offence will mean those who steal pets will face far tougher sentences than they do currently. It is still in negotiation and discussion therefore please sign and share the petition on all social media sites
Initially, ministers wanted to just tinker with the wording and considered just incorporating a new offence of pet theft into the existing theft act;
Fortunately, this was rejected after realising the depth of feeling through campaigns and constantly bringing cases into the spotlight.
Campaigns like ours and others stated that pets should not be classed and valued like property.
That was one of the key features of the change.org petition. So these ministers came to the realisation that the existing offence and that part of the Theft Act were clearly unfit for purpose, which led to just 1% of all reported dog thefts being prosecuted.
One of the main problems was that domestic pets were classed as property and therefore a similar offence as having your bike or mobile stolen. It was your signatures and campaigning that made the difference. It will be your and others’ signatures that will impact the severity of the sentencing.
in many cases, the thefts of pets were being reported as petty theft and therefore the scale of dog theft was reported incorrectly by police forces around the country. For instance, it would be classed as burglary and not a pet that was stolen, and if a litter of puppies were stolen only one theft occurred rather than multiple dogs being stolen. Read further information below