Sinn Féin TD Paul Donnelly has warned of a rise in puppy thefts in the Dublin 15 area during the lockdown.
Describing the trend as “deeply concerning” he said he had been informed by Gardai that a large number of dogs and puppies had been reported as stolen in Dublin West.
He said: “Many people have decided to get a new puppy or dog while they are at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the prices being charged for pets have soared.
“Thieves have taken advantage of the situation and begun stealing peoples’ pets to sell on to unsuspecting people at huge cost.
“I am deeply concerned that puppies are being perceived as ‘lucrative’ by opportunistic and heartless thieves. Pet theft is a heart-breaking and cruel crime, which can cause huge distress for owners as well as harm to the animals.
“I am urging people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Gardaí.”