Gardaí are warning dog owners to be vigilant amid an increase in dog thefts during the pandemic.
Desperate owners have been posting social media appeals for information on their stolen dogs, highlighting the emotional harm that can result from losing a much-loved family pet in this way.
Pets are considered property in legal terms, and their theft is punished in the same way as theft of a non-living object.
Fianna Fáil TD James Browne is looking to draft new legislation which would result in more severe penalties for those who steal dogs and other companion animals.
He joined us to discuss these plans in more detail.