Over 70 pet dogs have been reported stolen in South Yorkshire over the last year, new figures reveal.
Between last November 2013 and December last year there were 72 dogs stolen in 56 reported offences, according to figures released by South Yorkshire Police under the Freedom of Information Act.
The force recovered 22 of the stolen dogs and suspects were charged over five of the offences.
Jade Thompson, aged 23, from Guilthwaite Nurseries, Whiston, believes her beloved pet dog Millie has been stolen.
The Rotweiller cross went missing in the early hours of Wednesday, January 14 and has not been seen since.
Heartbroken Jade has set up the Get Millie Home page on Facebook in a bid to highlight the disappearance.
She has posted photographs of the black and tan dog and is urging anyone with any information on her whereabouts to get in touch.
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“There have been no sightings at all so I am convinced she was stolen although she is micro-chipped and spayed so she cannot be used for breeding,” she said.
“We have alerted everyone - animal sanctuaries, the RSPCA and dog wardens, plus we have posters up everywhere and it is as though she has just vanished. It seems impossible that she could still be out there roaming when there have been no sightings of her at all. She has disappeared into thin air.
“I believe she was lured out of the garden.”
Jade said she is ‘devastated’ at the disappearance.
“Our dogs aren’t just pets, they are part of the family,” said Jade, who also has Millie’s brother Bruno, from the same litter.
“The amount of dogs going missing lately is scary.”
She is planning to take part in a one mile walk in March as part of national campaign aimed at drawing attention to the issue of dog theft.
“We need to make stealing our babies impossible,” added Jade.
She is urging people to share her Facebook page and pictures of Millie to ‘make it hard for people to keep her hidden’.
Anyone with information on Millie’s disappearance should call Jade on 07837 086571 or the charity Doglost on 0844 8003220.
To report information on dog thefts in South Yorkshire call the county’s police force on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.