This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

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

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.

More details

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.

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This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

107,352 signatures

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 2 July 2018

Government responded

This response was given on 27 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.

Read the response in full

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

MPs will debate pet theft on 2 July 2018

We’re really sorry that you received an e-mail with the wrong date for this petition debate. We’ve now corrected the error on the website.

The debate will happen on Monday 2 July 2018 at 4.30pm. You’ll be able to watch the debate here:

You can read a transcript of the debate the following day here: