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.

107,352 Signatures


Status: Closed
Created: 7 Feb 2018, 8:20 p.m.
Daily signature rate : 590
Closed: 8 Aug 2018, 11:59 p.m.

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.

For more information, please see: http://www.stolenandmissingpetsalliance.co.uk/


Government Response

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.


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


Top 10 Constituency Signatories to the Petition

Constituency Signatures % of Total Signatures MP Party-Constituency
403 0.38% Lucy Frazer MP Conservative
South East Cambridgeshire
350 0.33% Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP Conservative
South Northamptonshire
345 0.32% Mr Richard Bacon MP Conservative
South Norfolk
344 0.32% George Freeman MP Conservative
Mid Norfolk
337 0.31% Mr Shailesh Vara MP Conservative
North West Cambridgeshire
335 0.31% David Warburton MP Conservative
Somerton and Frome
319 0.30% Anthony Browne Conservative
South Cambridgeshire
315 0.29% Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP Conservative
South West Norfolk
314 0.29% Mr Gagan Mohindra Conservative
South West Hertfordshire
314 0.29% Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP Conservative
Hemel Hempstead
View All Constituency Signatures

Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

14,097 signatures - 13.0% of total

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MPs spoken contributions during 2 Jul 2018 petition debate

Labour Mike Hill (View contribution) 2454 words 1219 words 693 words Mohammad Yasin (View contribution) 106 words
Scottish National Party Dr Lisa Cameron (View contribution) 1424 words