Pet thefts have risen 250% during the pandemic.
Under the current law, pets are treated as property, with no distinction between a family’s beloved dog and a stolen bike. Conservative MPs like Cheltenham's Alex Chalk blocked plans for bigger fines and tougher sentences to deter criminals from targeting family pets.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Cheltenham Max Wilkinson said:
“Pets are loved by so many people as our family members, our friends and even our confidants. They are so much more than property and the law should reflect that. I remember the sadness when my granny’s dogs, Mike and Gus, were stolen when I was a child.
"We need punishments that match the hurt caused by pet theft, rather than the current apologetic approach.
“That’s why it was so sad to see our own MP voting against a pet theft law.
“The Westminster Conservative politicians should listen to families that have suffered the heartbreak of having a beloved pet taken from them - just like the pain my family experienced all those years ago.
"They would see the devastation and recognise the urgent need to make this a specific offence with appropriate punishments.”
Add your name to the petition to support introducing a specific offence with tougher sentences to deter criminals from pet theft.