DOG owners reported a total of 39 pet thefts to West Mercia Police last year, a freedom of information request has revealed.

The dognappers targeted animals kept at homes, gardens, worksites, boarding kennels, campsites and vehicles.

Three of the dogs were stolen from outside a store while their owners were inside.

Thieves targeted a wide range of breeds ranging from beagles, border collies, and German shepherds to Labradors, Rottweilers and Staffordshire bull terriers – of these dogs only eight were recovered.