A call to increase penalties for those who steal pets will be brought before the Dáil by Deputy Michael Lowry this week.
The Thurles TD says the increase in the number of thefts since the introduction of Covid lockdowns last year needs to be tackled.
Under the current law, pets are considered property and they are treated in the exact same way as the theft of a mobile phone
Deputy Lowry says pets are much more than property, they are very much part of a family in homes across our country.
He points out that in many cases a pet can be the only friend to someone who is isolated, a companion to an elderly person living alone.