During lockdown, some of us have taken comfort from being accompanied through the year with our beloved pooches.

It’s something plenty of people have been thinking about, even if they don’t have a dog, with the RSPCA noting “unprecedented interest” in those looking to get puppies and dogs throughout 2020.

Unfortunately, that has also driven a rise in thefts of dogs across the UK. While North Hampshire has had relatively few thefts, it still pays to be vigilant. Here are some of the dogs that are missing from the area:


The four-year-old blue cocker spaniel disappeared during a walk on New Barn Lane in Wherwell on Wednesday, September 16.

Lindesay Rudd-Clarke and his wife Jeanne, who own Cleo, believe she was stolen and have reported this to Hampshire Police. MP Caroline Nokes joined their campaign and called for change in the law to make pet theft a specific crime in light of Cleo’s disappearance.

Anyone with information about Cleo is asked to phone Hampshire Constabulary on 101 with the reference 44200367337 to help reunite her with her owners. A reward is offered for her safe return.

Kings Worthy

Missing from Kings Worthy, this black cockapoo disappeared on July 31 last year, and is believed to have been lost or stolen by her owners.

The owners report their pet disappeared “within seconds” while visiting friends, and has not been seen since.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the owners via https://www.nationalpetregister.org/mp/96018. A reward is offered for her safe return.


Hazel is a one-year-old cocker spaniel mix who was stolen from Walderton in West Sussex on August 15. A large vehicle was heard pulling up and a dog was heard frantically barking, before tyres screeched as it pulled away.

Therapist Rebecca Taylor, Hazel’s owner, said she was “devastated” and that her clients have been asking after Hazel ever since.

Crimestoppers believe that Hazel could have been moved to Hampshire, and anyone with information should contact them with information. A £2,500 reward is offered for her safe return.

Police statement

While dog thefts are very concerning, Hampshire Police have told residents not to worry, saying they have “low rates” compared to the national picture.

They said: “Over the past 6 months in the Test Valley we have had only one identified report of a dog being stolen by a stranger.

“We regularly receive reports of suspicious incidents around dog theft, including people believing that there have had ‘signs’ placed outside of their properties to apparently indicate that there are dogs within to steal. Such concerns however are not substantiated by actual reports of dogs being taken locally.

“It may be that some offences have not been reported to police. If so this is unwise. All dogs must now be microchipped by law, and any recovered can be very easily identified and reunited with their owners.

“Dog theft is a crime that does occur nationally, but not at the rate that people often believe it to. Certainly not within the Test Valley. Our colleagues in the neighbouring Dorset & Wiltshire forces report similarly low rates within their own policing areas.

“People love their pets and theft of them would be an immensely distressing event. A lot of the concern appears however to stem from social media. Many of these posts are created and shared with good intentions, but may actually cause undue concern and distress. Dogs are not being routinely stolen from across rural areas as some of these reports appear to indicate.”