Calls are being made for tougher sentencing for pet thieves following a series of dog thefts in the central belt.
Campaigners say high demand during lockdown has resulted in more thefts than ever – and are calling for perpetrators to be jailed.
Craig Brown had three dogs stolen from his kennels last October.
He told STV News: “I was out at work all day so coming home to an empty kennel was not a nice feeling.
“It makes you feel sick that somebody could come in and just lift pets.
“I know they are in kennels and they are working dogs but they’re pets, you spend a lot of time with them.”
Although three of Mr Brown’s dogs were stolen that day, two were found shortly after in the Midlands.
He said his family is slowly losing hope of ever seeing the third one again.
He added: “Everyday another case pops up, another stolen dog and you sort of feel yourself dropping down the list.”
Mr Brown’s dogs are part of the growing number of dogs stolen during the pandemic.
Rising puppy prices and an increased demand for pets are being blamed for this ongoing problem.
People like Alice Budgen, a co-ordinator from Tayside and Central Scotland Moorland Group who owns ten dogs, are fighting back.
She told STV News: “We will be speaking to MSPs about trying to increase the punishment for people that are still in and involved in these sort of thefts but it’s making the public more aware of when they are purchasing dogs, what to look out for, if they are seeing anything that is slightly suspicious or they’re not actually seeing the mother of these pups and that’s a big red flag there.”
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