Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat Member of the Senedd for Brecon & Radnorshire, and Alison Alexander, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for Montgomeryshire, have backed a Dyfed-Powys Police campaign, Operation Rhinestone, to raise awareness of dog theft and ways to protect dogs from criminals.
Commenting, Alison said: “Dog theft is a vile crime and those who are responsible for this blight on our communities must be identified and punished with the full force of the law.
“However, there are steps that dog owners can take to minimise the risks of their dog being stolen. These include: ensuring that they do not leave their dog alone in cars or outside shops, that they don’t allow them to wander out of sight when off a lead, and by avoiding posting images of new puppy litters on social media. It is also important to get them tagged and microchipped; to keep current photos and to maintain secure garden fences.
Kirsty Williams MS added: -
“Dyfed-Powys Police have informed me that dog theft has been a growing problem, partly connected to the increased commercial value of dogs during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Recent dog theft incidents have included hoax callers impersonating RSPCA officials, a burglary at an elderly lady’s home, and a failed attempt by two individuals to take a man’s dog using use physical force whilst the victim was walking on a coastal path.
“Please be vigilant for your own dog and other people’s dogs and report any crimes or suspected incidents.
“Dog thieves may only care about making illicit money, but most of us understand that the value of pet dogs is beyond measure. Dogs give companionship, comfort, and hope to so many, especially during this time of social distancing and isolation. As always, theft is not a victimless crime.”
‘Please report a suspected dog theft or any evidence relating to a dog theft by phoning the police on 101 or reporting online at www.dyfed-powys.police.uk.