How many dogs were stolen in West Yorkshire last year?

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An average of four dogs were stolen in West Yorkshire every week last year, according to police data.

A total of 221 dogs were reported to West Yorkshire Police as having been stolen during 2017 – an increase of 20 per cent on the 184 taken in 2015.

Figures secured by The Insurance Emporium through a Freedom of Information request showed 80 dogs were taken from gardens, making this the most vulnerable place for a pet in West Yorkshire last year.

It also found that only 23 dogs were recovered in 2017, although this was higher than the percentage returned to owners in the previous year.

A police spokesman said: “We take all reports of theft extremely seriously and are happy to work with householders and businesses to offer crime prevention advice.

“In particular with dogs, we would encourage their owners to get them micro-chipped and ideally keep them indoors or in secure premises when home alone.

"Where a dog has not been micro-chipped it can be difficult to trace them and return them to their rightful owner.”

Read more: Dog thefts on rise in West Yorkshire as pets are stolen for ‘black market’