Huge surge in dog thefts with 172 already this year

ireland
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Gordon Deegan

The rate of domestic dog thefts across the country has surged this year compared to 2019.

That is according to new figures provided by the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.

The figures show that to the end of August 26th there were 172 dog thefts and at that rate the total for the year would be around 258.

This compares to 205 domestic dog thefts for last year.

Minister McEntee stated that Gardai have recently completed several successful seizures of dogs where the dogs were suspected to have been stolen.

She stated that Gardaí seized 32 dogs near Swords in August that are believed to be stolen with an estimated value in excess of €120,000 and there was an arrest connected with the seizure of ten suspected stolen dogs in Co. Limerick on August 1st last.

The 32 dogs seized near Swords included chihuahuas, pugs, a Jack Russell and dachshunds.

Huge distress

In a written Dail PQ response on the issue, Minister McEntee stated that she "is very conscious of the huge distress that can be caused by the crime of dog theft and the strong emotional bonds that owners have with their pets".

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In his Dail PQ, Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) asked Minister McEntee if she was considering amending legislation to toughen penalties for dog theft.

In her response, Minister McEntee stated that there is already comprehensive legislation in place to address such crimes of theft and fraud as well as related animal welfare offences.

Minister McEntee state that these include the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013; the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1965 and the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

In terms of preventing further dog thefts, Minister McEntee stated that information has recently been disseminated to the Crime Prevention Officers Network countrywide specifically dealing with the topic of dog thefts.

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