Dog thefts have skyrocketed over the Covid-19 pandemic, with demand driving a surge in puppy prices. As experts call for tougher punishments, Gayle Ritchie investigates.
It’s been seven months of hell for Craig Brown.
The gamekeeper’s beloved springer spaniel “M” was stolen from kennels near Blairgowrie in October and has never been found.
Each day Craig hopes and prays for news of her whereabouts.
She was one of three dogs taken – the other two were male Jack Russells which were found roaming streets in Bromsgrove, south of Birmingham, more than 400 miles from home.
“It’s been an absolute nightmare,” says Craig, 50.
“When the three dogs were taken, I worried what might be happening to them.
“You hear stories about dog baiting; you wonder if that’s why they’ve taken them. It’s an awful thing to go through.”
With no sign of M, Craig, who suspects she is being used for breeding, can only…