The heartbreak and sense of loss is a real as raw emotion can get

Valerie O’Sullivan’s spectacular photograph shows one man and his dog on Rossbeigh Beach

Opinion: The punishment for those caught stealing dogs should fit the crime when and if they they appear before the courts, writes animal rights campaigner John Tierney

‘I read in the paper there are robbers with flashlights that shine in the dark’

That’s a line from the novelty song, How much is that doggie in the window?
But canine robbers are not just nocturnal prowlers. They go about their evil work on a 24-hour setting.
They are stealing people’s dog so that they can be converted into cash, used as animal baiting participants or as canine womb outlets.
Never mind the intrusion into the family as one member is stolen, fate unknown. The heartbreak and sense of loss is a real as raw emotion can get.
Dog stealing pivots on a legal definition. Those who have a wet nose are deemed property. Akin to household items, the family dog/s find a place on the home owner’s items inventory.
So a dog stealer, crawling out from their basket of deplorables, can steal the house toaster or the dog, safe in the knowledge that should they darken a courtroom, the wrist will be slapped via a judicial tut-tutting.
The legal status of any companion animal has to change to a position of sentient protections.
The issue of dog stealing will be solved if the legal framework allows those who lift the dog lead to be classified on the spectrum where human kidnappers resides.
The arrest and applied punishment should reflect the seriousness of the charge.
2:58 represents the playing time of How much is that doggie in the window?
But for those who had their dog stolen, the heartbreak plays out over a lifetime of wondering where their canine companion is.

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