Snake and cockatiel among more unusual pets stolen from homes in Suffolk as dogs top table
Fish, goats, a cockatiel and a snake were among the more unusual pets reported stolen from homes in Suffolk over the past two years.
Dogs were the most common animal to feature in the list, compiled by police chiefs in the county, with more than a dozen reports received by officers between 2015 and 2017.
Puppies were also reported stolen, as were cats, sheep, rabbits, horses and a hamster.
For the majority of cases included in the data, retrieved via a Freedom of Information request, the outcome was either not recorded or no suspect was identified, so no further action was taken.
Police chiefs said domestic pets, particularly dogs, can be very attractive to thieves.
They added: “Dogs and cats form a big part of the family and we understand it can be extremely distressing if they go missing or are stolen.
“Animals, both domestic and livestock, can be reported as missing due to a variety of circumstances, including theft from insecure homes, gardens, fields or vehicles and we would urge owners to prioritise securing their property to minimise these risks. “Thankfully the number of animal thefts reported in Suffolk is low, however we would encourage pet owners to register their animal with a vet and ensure it is micro-chipped so that if it is recovered, you can easily be traced as the owner.”
But they warned that it is now a legal requirement to have any dog over the age of eight weeks micro-chipped.
A collar must be worn in a public place, with the name and address of its owner engraved on a tag.
Representatives for the force added: “Dogs are attractive to thieves due to the value they can attract when re-selling them.
“Pure-breed dogs may be stolen for breeding purposes as it can be a profitable operation, however thankfully reports of this are rare in Suffolk.”
Dr Samantha Gaines from the RSPCA said owners can take action to prevent their pet from being stolen, or becoming a target.
She added: “It’s heartbreaking for people when the pets they love like members of their family are stolen.
“Ensuring pets are wearing collars with up-to-date ID tags and having them micro-chipped can help in the battle against pet-nappers.”
She recommends people who suspect their pet has been stolen to check their home and local area thoroughly and report it to police.
For more help and advice, visit the charity’s website.