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Catnappers And Animals Snatchers — 5 Comments

  1. I never realized that animal theft was such a problem in the UK. But, it makes sense that with only a small percentage of cats there being pedigree, that they are seen as unique and valuable.

    Knowing that this problems exists, I’m sure people with pedigrees keep them safely indoors for the most part.

    That someone would, actually, steal a colony of bees made me laugh out loud. The 58 stolen lobsters were second best!

    I’m surprised about dog thefts too.
    Stolen dogs here are usually pitbulls or rottweilers that are valuable for dog fighting. Shot when they become too old or too injured to fight anymore.

    I want to believe, as Michele writes, that Maggie’s situation was simply a matter of an opportunist in the right place and at the right time. He saw, he grabbed, and he saw $$ signs.

    • Dee, cat theft is thankfully fairly rare here. I have several friends who allow their pedigree cats to go outside. One of those cats is a rather rare Devon Rex, which even to an untrained eye is obviously a pedigree cat. I think if theft (even by finding) were commonplace, he would definitely have been targetted by now. There’s more money to be made dealing drugs and that is rather commonplace here.

      I think our society is mainly animal friendly which means it is relatively safe for cats to go out. There was national outrage when Mary Bale was caught on CCTV camera dropping a pet cat into a wheelie bin. Such was the public furore, that she lost her job at a bank and needed police protection before the case even got to court.

      Whilst still not an every day occurence, I guess there are more dog thefts because they are considered to have more ‘value’ than cats. Working gun-dogs are common targets as are other breeds used for hunting/working. Prize-winning pedigrees are occasionally stolen for ransom or by a rival competitor. Sometimes trendy breeds are stolen simply because the the thieves already know of people looking for a bargain ‘designer’ dog. These are the kind of opportunists who would probably also commit shoplifting if they thought they could get away with it.

  2. Dog theft is much more of a problem here, with terrier breeds being stolen by the ‘travelling’ community. They have been seen brazenly taking pets from gardens in broad daylight and when challenged become physically aggressive. The police seem unwilling or unable to tackle criminals from these communities.

  3. I don’t believe there are gangs of cat-nappers cruising U.K. streets. It’s simply not a sustainable source of income for thieves. I think Maggie was found by an opportunist who exploited the situation to their own advantage.

    Criminals can make much more money from puppy and kitten farms and many of those animals are imported from Europe. There will always be people who want a ‘pedigree’ but aren’t prepared to pay the going rate from a reputable breeder. Instead they prefer to look for a cheap deal on classified-ad sites like Gumtree. I’ve read numerous accounts of people buying a cat which turned out to be mixed breeds, with very short lifespans. One chap bought two ‘Maine Coons’, both of which became seriously ill within 48 hours and despite spending a lot of money at the vet, both kittens died. Many of these animals are imported on false papers, which is a worrying concern as it could lead to rabies entering the U.K.

  4. Since outdoor cats are more common in England, I’m kind of surprised that cat napping and ransom demands aren’t reported more often, since it’s considered criminal activity. It would be interesting to see how much those particular numbers have increased over the 20 year period, and if any cat nappers have been caught and penalized.

    Also, I imagine that crime in general has increased over that same time period.

    Do any readers have direct experience, or know of any by their friends?

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