Thieves steal dogs to order as demand for pets soars during lockdown, says the RSPCA

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Thieves are taking orders from would-be dog-owners before scouring the streets for matches as demand for pets soars during lockdown, according to the RSPCA.

The animal welfare charity urged owners to take extra care of their pets following a recent series of thefts.

In the past week alone, LeicestershireLive has reported on three separate incidents in the city and county involving the disappearance of more than 10 animals.

The RSPCA's Woodside Animal Centre, in Scudamore Road, Leicester says demand for smaller dogs, in particular, is "huge" at the moment and believes this, at least partly, explains the apparent rise in thefts.

Branch manager Amanda Lovett said her team has struggled to keep up with the number of inquiries from families searching for new puppies.

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