A Warwickshire family recently experienced the sort of trauma no animal lover should have to, after their 12-week-old British bulldog puppy was stolen by burglars.
The pet was taken from the property in Rugby last Wednesday during a raid on the family's home, alongside thousands of pounds of electrical equipment.
The theft has sparked a Twitter campaign to find the puppy, while £1,000 has also been offered for its safe return.
The DogLost helpline the incidence of dogs being stolen and sold on was on the rise, possibly due to the tough economic times and the fact that many breeds of puppy can sell for several hundred pounds. The Kennel Club condemned canine theft as "devastating for the families involved".
Microchipping and neutering are advised as a means of tracking the animal and making it less valuable to criminals.
In addition, security measures such as dog cages could deter thieves.