Pet Theft Reform

Pet Theft Reform is the evidence-based campaign to make pet theft a specific offence with access to appropriate custodial sentences.

The Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (Sampa) have been lobbying to make pet theft a specific offence with tougher sentences since their launch in 2014. The Pet Theft Reform campaign was created by Dr Daniel Allen in collaboration with Sampa in 2018. Dr Allen's three government Pet Theft Reform petitions passed 100,000 signatures in three consecutive years (2018; 2019; 2020); generating national media coverage, parliamentary debates, and gaining public, charity, and cross-party support.​ The Pet Theft Reform team also helped an independent government petition to 'Make dog theft a specific criminal offence'  pass 300,000 signatures in 2021.   


Pet Theft Reform team at 10 Downing Street


Peter Egan and Dr Daniel Allen

Ricky Gervais, David Walliams, Sara Cox and Clare Balding support Pet Theft Reform (video credit: Emma Kennedy)

Pet Theft Reform Coalition

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Organisations are joining forces in support of Pet Theft Reform. On March 24, 2021, Heidi Allen (Director of Advocacy and Policy, RSPCA) sent a joint letter in support of Pet Theft Reform to Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC.  Signatures include APGAW, APDAWG, Battersea, Blue Cross, Canine and Feline Sector Group, DogLost, Dogs Trust, The Dog Union, The FOAL Group, Hidden in Sight, The Kennel Club,  Murphy's Army, National Animal Welfare Trust, Pet Theft Awareness, Pet Theft Reform, RSPCA, Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance, Vets Get Scanning.   



Why do we need Pet Theft Reform?

Image by Ryk Porras

1. Dog theft crime continues to rise in the UK. The impact on the growing number of victims is devastating.

2. Driven by organised crime, some criminals see dog theft as a low-risk, high-reward offence.

3. Under the Theft Act 1968, pets are property - a stolen Labrador is a stolen laptop.

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4. Dogs are stolen to order, to sell, to breed from at puppy farms, for ransom, and even for use as bait in illegal dog fighting.

5. In recent years only 1% of dog theft crimes have led to a prosecution. If caught, the sentence for stealing pets is generally a small fine or suspended sentence.

6. Pet Theft Reform would give courts access to appropriate custodial sentences to act as a deterrent, provide punishment, and protect the public. 


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