You read that right. The UK has so few dogs available for adoption that organized crime has stepped in:
“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been in the field for 35 years,” said Wayne May, police liaison with Dog Lost, Britain’s largest lost-and-found dog service.
May said thefts reported to his organization have increased 250 percent, year-on-year.
“That’s over 400 cases, just in England, just reported to us,” he said. “This isn’t a dog that’s run off. This is a reported case of theft.”
Investigators talk about the emergence of a new “puppy mafia.” They say some of the same traffickers who usually deal in prostitution, drugs and gun sales have turned to Labradoodles, unscrupulously exploiting the exploding demand.
“No papers, no shots record, nothing, and they pay £3,000 in a parking lot for a sick puppy,” said [Jacob] Lloyd, [senior investigator for] Animal Protection Services.
The report may be a little sensational, but I can't imagine losing Cassie to a dog thief. Violence might be justified.