Cornwall Liberal Democrats are backing calls to make pet theft a specific criminal offence and change the law to treat stolen dogs as animals rather than possessions.
A petition to make dog theft a specific criminal offence has so far reached 194, 171 signatures. According to the charity DogLost there has been a 170% increase in dog thefts since lockdown started.
In October the Government refused to commit to changing current legislation to make pet theft a crime in its own right.
Rob Nolan, Lib Dem Portfolio holder for Environment & Public Protection at Cornwall Council said:
"Our councillors and MPs across the country are hearing from concerned dog owners who have either had their dogs stolen or are worried that their dogs may be at risk.
"Dogs are part of the family, and it's wrong that that current laws do not reflect this. The Government has been dragging its heels on this issue and meanwhile dog theft has increased under lockdown causing huge distress.
"Cornwall Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to make pet theft a specific offence and to change the law to treat stolen pets as animals rather than possessions, as well as releasing data concerning the number of crimes, arrests and convictions for pet theft."