Members of puppy-stealing gangs issued a warning to dog owners to keep their pets close.
In a VICE documentary that interviewed career dog thieves, they explained how dogs and puppies can be lured or taken from their owners and flipped for profit.
Organizations and gangs exist around stealing and reselling dogs, and the message that the puppy thieves shared is chilling.
During the pandemic, the demand for puppies drove prices up by as much as 450%. Sadly, the high demand and increased price tag just encouraged dog thieves even more.
According to the VICE video, a North London-based gang revealed that they would go as far as it took to nab a dog, and would even break into someone’s house, especially if a whole litter was inside.
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They shared that they act as opportunities. While some of the dog nappings are more planned, like those involving breaking and entering, they’re also on the lookout for any opportunity that arises.
One of the members revealed, “We take dogs wherever we find them, whether it’s actually going into the house or whatever to get them, whether it’s a dog in the park we can lure away quickly. My guy over there Jack, Jack’s the guy that will get you any dog you need. He basically knows how to control dogs.”
Naturally, their main target is puppies since they’re in higher demand than adult dogs.
The gang member went on to issue a warning to dog owners, saying, “You’ve got to keep your eyes on your dog at all times. Don’t just let your dog run ahead of you and run round the corner before you, because when that happens, we might be there.”
The interviewer asked him for advice for someone whose dog was stolen, and he suggested getting a new dog.
Aside from stealing dogs and flipping them for profit, other gangs will buy dogs from inhumane conditions and transport them to a different coutnry where the puppies have higher price tags. For example, one gang shared that they can buy French Bulldog puppies for around $350 from a Romanian puppy farm and resell them in the UK for $7,000.
The gang members often have to cut microchips out of the dogs to replace them, which they noted does distress the dogs. However, to them, the dogs and puppies are little more than “bread on the table.”
Suprinsgly, a gang member identified as Jamie shared that he has a conscience and doesn’t believe he’s “harming anyone.” It seems people can convince themselves of anything!
Watch the interview below:
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