North Yorkshire Police now has officers dedicated to dealing with instances of pet theft and supporting victims.

Whilst pet theft is rare in North Yorkshire – just 16 reports in 2021 so far – the force has implemented a pet theft lead and a small team of pet theft liaison officers.

An organisation wide online training programme has been launched and North Yorkshire Police has a seat on the national working group led by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Dog Section, Sergeant Simon Whitby said:

“As dog owners ourselves we completely understand the theft of a family pet is extremely distressing and a crime which has huge long-lasting emotional impact.

“We want to support all of our communities in keeping their pets safe and feeling safe, and this information leaflet is key to help us do that.

“The leaflet contains information and advice such as microchipping, reporting the theft, use of appealing through social media and where to get support. We want the public to know just how dedicated we are to tackling pet theft and that we take it extremely seriously.

“As well as advice and guidance on the investigation, our dedicated Pet Theft Liaison Officers can conduct reassurance visits to victims, including an accompanied dog walk to help victims feel more confident when walking their dogs.”

An information leaflet has been produced to assist officers in supporting pet owners to keep their furry friends safe, as well as providing up-to-date advice on what to do if your pet goes missing.

The force has said it “recognises that the theft of a family pet is extremely distressing” and a crime which has huge long-lasting emotional impact.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.