For seven years Gerald McCarthy’s canine Molly helped him address the sudden loss of life of his spouse.
However one morning in February, Molly was snatched from his backyard whereas the 70-year-old briefly popped into the home to place the kettle on.
“She was an enormous a part of my life,” he says.
“Very first thing once I completed work daily I used to be wanting to return house for Molly. And all my days simply revolved round taking care of Molly.”
However legally pets are classed as property, so once they’re taken it is no totally different to a stolen bike or laptop computer.
Many say that this does not mirror the emotional bond between pets and their homeowners, and a petition to make canine theft a particular offence, with a two-year minimal sentence, has gained over half one million signatures.
Katy Stickley’s canine Set off was additionally taken from her backyard, however the police discovered him by likelihood eight months later and returned him house.
She says that when he went lacking it felt like considered one of her youngsters had disappeared.
“It ought to be classed as kidnap as a result of it is a residing particular person,” Ms Stickley says. “Though it is not a human, it is nonetheless residing and nonetheless a part of the household.”
On Monday, parliament will debate proposals that might make it simpler for stolen pets to be reunited with their rightful homeowners, similar to making microchip scanning obligatory for vets, versus optionally available.
And a few MPs, like Labour’s Alex Cunningham, again stronger deterrents for canine thieves.
“The present laws is not powerful sufficient,” he says.
“Folks can steal a pet and may get a advantageous of £120 slightly than face the complete drive of the legislation, and that is as a result of it would not consider the traumatic impact it has on the household, so what we need to do is have the legislation recognise the trauma that is induced to a household by having a pet stolen and put an applicable sentence for that scenario.”
Gerald McCarthy now has a brand new canine known as Missy however he says that nothing can substitute his lacking pup Molly.
“They do not know what they’re doing, these individuals who do that,” he says. “She was a dream canine.”