A FAMILY dog has been stolen from a home in Hereford as dog thefts continue to rise.

In November 2021, a study by K9 Patrol - one of the UK's leading canine security companies - found instances of dognapping have increased by almost 20 per cent in the last six months across the UK.

Sammy Evans and her family have been left heartbroken after their Bella was stolen while she was at a friend’s home in Hunderton on January 18.

Ms Evans said the friend knew the suspects in question and let them in to the home, then Bella was forcibly taken.

She is a part of the family to her young children.

“The kids are heartbroken,” said Ms Evans.

Bella - stolen dog in HerefordThree-month-old Bella was stolen from a home in Hunderton, Hereford.

Bella is a three-and-a-half-month-old American bulldog xl with blue eyes. Her tail is all brown expect for the white tip, and she has distinctive white markings.

The family have worked to get her back by reporting the incident to the police and carrying out their own investigation.

A spokesperson from West Merica Police said they are investigating the report and no one was injured during the robbery.

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They have tracked her down to different locations. But once they find her in one place she is moved again, Ms Evans said.

The family is unsure if she is still in Herefordshire, but they are praying she is not sold.

She has not come into season so cannot breed yet, but the family think she may have been stolen for this purpose.

There is a £3,000 reward for Bella’s safe return home.

Bella - stolen dog in HerefordBella's family are desperate to find her.

In October 2021, a law was passed which recognises pet theft as a separate crime to other forms of property theft.

K9's study analysed local search data for terms frequently searched by victims of pet abduction from May to November in 2021.

Herefordshire residents searched for terms such as "report dog theft", "dog stolen" and "report a stolen dog" more frequently than those living in almost any other county in the UK.

The Hereford Times runs a missing pet page where multiple people have submitted posters and appeals for information in the hope, they will find their beloved animal.