Tipperary Town vet says increase in dog thefts is extremely worrying

A local vet says the increase in dog thefts is extremely worrying.

Dog owners are being warned to be extra wary after a rise in animals being stolen from homes in Tipperary and around the country now.

Mairéad Leahy of Arra Vets in Tipp Town says it’s being driven by money and that the price of puppies and dogs has gone up in both Ireland and the UK – driven by consumer demand.

Speaking on Tipp Today, she said it’s frightening at the moment:

“I know a story – and this is somebody that I know myself, who went walking in local woods… and she was attacked by a dog. A dog was set on her by people trying to steal her two dogs off her while she was walking.

“If you go on to Done Deal or even there’s a lot of Facebook markets that people are selling dogs on – the price of puppies is gone insane.”

There’s a fear as well that stolen dogs which aren’t being sold, are being used instead as bait.

However, Mairéad says she doesn’t believe that to be the case as the prices these criminals can get for them are too high at the moment.

She says a lot of these stolen animals are being brought to the UK:

“I would say that it’s definitely happening over to the UK at ports. There’s definitely dogs being stolen and exported to the UK, I’m convinced of it.

“I’m friends with a lot of vets in the UK and I can see even at their side that there’s a real demand for puppies and dogs at the minute and they’re not available.

“So I really think that there’s a lot of Irish dogs being shipped over at ports.”