The chances of your stolen pet being recovered in Preston are slim according to figures released today.
A Freedom of Information request shows police in the city have only been able to recover one goldfish and a female English bulldog in the last three years.
Since January 2009 there have been 849 animals stolen in the city, including the theft of 800 young pheasant and partridge from an address in Lea.
Pedigree dogs are the most likely animals to be stolen, with Dogue de Bordeaux, Staffordshire bull terriers and English Bulldogs being stolen to order across the city.
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said the force did not see the theft of dogs in the city as a project.
She said: “If a dog is stolen we record it as a crime and investigate it thoroughly. This is not a problem in the division.
“There is no formula to decide if a pet has been lost or stolen, just like there isn’t for a mobile phone. If the victim reports it stolen we treat it as so and investigate the circumstances.”
The theft of the partridges and pheasants from Lea is still being investigated by police, but officers have exhausted all lines of enquiry.
Preston City Council’s dog wardens, who deal with stray dogs in the city, urge owners to get their pets micro-chipped.
Andy Howard, environmental health manager for animal welfare, says micro-chipping means he and his team can return lost or stolen dogs to their rightful owners.
He said: “Each microchip is coded with a unique number that is linked to a computer database containing owner’s details,” he said, “Once an animal is micro-chipped, a local dog warden or vet can scan lost or stolen dogs to trace their owners.”
The dog wardens run free micro-chipping services and the next one will be at the Preston Mission Church from 10am to 5pm on Thursday 19th April.
View the full Freedom of Information response below
Freedom of Information response: Lancashire Police to stolen animals
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