Police chiefs are reassuring dog owners in Lichfield and Burntwood over fears of animal thefts.
Research carried out by Staffordshire Police indicates that the number of cases across the county are low.
It comes after an incident in Mile Oak where two men attempted to steal a dog from its owner while they were out on a walk.
Chief Inspector Mark Thorley said the number of such incidents had actually fallen.
“The issue of dog thefts is something that is highly emotive and I can fully appreciate why.
“I am aware of the concerns over this offence and in response asked for some research to be carried out to understand the picture in Staffordshire.
“That initial research appears to show what I believed – that cases are low in the county and incidents look to have fallen over the last year.
“I am aware of national reports and incidents that have been reported in the county but at this time it appears that Staffordshire does not have the perceived increase of dog thefts which people are concerned over.”Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, Staffordshire Police
The National Police Chiefs’ Council has urged owners to take steps to prevent their animals being taken, including not leaving dogs tied up outside a shop and varying the times and routes of their walks.
Chief Inspector Thorley added:
“It is right that owners are vigilant and take the necessary steps to guard against dog thefts.
“We are aware of the figures from across the country and our officers respond to reported incidents in Staffordshire.
“But the issues in other areas of the country do not appear to be reflected here and while we ask people to be vigilant I would not want owners to be fearful.
“I want to reassure them that such thefts do not appear to be as prevalent locally as it may be nationally.”Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, Staffordshire Police