‘Stay extra vigilant’ says insurance boss as Brent revealed as worst in London for pet thefts

By Laren Tayyip
January 22 2019, 11:18

Brent had the worst record for stolen pets in London in 2019.

Figures from the Metropolitan Police revealed 41 pets were stolen in Brent last year, closely followed by Havering with 40 stolen pets and Greenwich with 35 stolen pets.

Kingston saw the lowest number of animal thefts, with nine, closely followed by Kensington and Chelsea with 10.

Eva Sandstra Bennett, head of Pet Insurance at Direct Line said: “To have a much beloved pet stolen is devastating for an owner and as the most recent data from the Metropolitan Police shows, the number of pets stolen continues to rise.

“It’s not surprising to see that dogs are the most targeted pet, especially with designer dog breeds which remain highly desirable to thieves. We encourage owners to stay extra vigilant when walking their dog.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “It’s really concerning to see how many pets are being stolen each year and we’d urge anyone who believed their pet has been taken to report the incident immediately to the police.

“Thousands of pets are lost and stolen every year and many are never reunited with their owners but microchipping can help to change that.”

Across all 32 London boroughs, 52% of stolen pets were dogs, 18% cats, 15% fish, 7% birds, 7% other mammals and 1% reptiles. 

The most popular dog breed which was stolen over the year was the Staffordshire bull terrier at 39, followed by chihuahuas at 22. 

Among the stolen cats, the most snatched breed was the tabby at 11 and the Bengal at eight. 

The other 7% of abducted animals included 18 rabbits, nine ferrets, six horses, two chickens , a crow, a tortoise and Shetland pony. 

From 633 animals taken from their owners, only 7% of animals have been recovered. 

Some 496 animals were stolen through theft and handling, 109 through burglary, 15 through robbery and 12 due to other offences. 

March 2019 had the highest number of animals stolen across London at 84, while January had the lowest number at 31.

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