It might surprise you to hear this but london isn’t such a safe place anymore. Well parts of it are. I’ve lived in three distinctively different neighborhoods, Earls court, Edgware Road and Camberwell Green so I have a well-rounded approach when it comes to formulating an opinion regarding London’s deterioration over the past years.
Working on the Strand meant constantly walking by signs alerting me to the motorbikes prowling the neighborhood. Clusters of opportunistic gangs which are constantly on the look out for that one person who would be too busy sexting his girlfriend to be paying any attention to his surroundings.
I know what it is too be so deeply consumed by your smartphone’s glowing screen that everything around you has been completely blurred out, making you an ideal target for that moped that casually rode past you just a few seconds ago.
But the game has changed. The pandemic saw a rise in the dog population and the same people that would have previously salivated over a brand new, loosely gripped iPhone, are now scanning the street for spaniels, Chihuahuas and designer breeds.
Don’t bother trying to explain to the thug that drove by and snatched your labradoodle from your front garden that he has kidnapped a member of your family. They don’t share your morals and, if they did, they wouldn’t be stuffing dogs in the first place.
These people are truly the scum of the earth and, if you do end up retrieving your pet, it won’t be because your distant screams had warmed their heart, coercing them in to reevaluating their actions. After a closer inspection on your dog’s breed they simply came to the conclusion that your mutt just wasn’t worth the hassle and, with the return on investment not meeting their expectations, they tossed it out of the window and began driving towards a more affluent neighborhood.
That’s it. They don’t care how hard you’ve sobbed during your Instagram live stream. For them it’s strictly business.
It’s interesting to note that, until recently, having your house ransacked by an unscrupulous fool that saw it fit to barge through your window and kidnap your four-legged sidekick, would have made no legal difference than if he decided to steal your toaster or your television.
But thankfully the surge in pet theft and the outcry of the owners when they realized how little they could do even If they where fortunate enough to identify the culprit (which is hardly the case) created a chain of events that led to the law-makers making sure that the punishment fit the crime.
‘’It’s not just the uneasiness knowing that someone broke into my son’s house, but also not knowing where Ivy is and how she’s being treated’’ said Joanne, whose bulldog was snatched from her front garden. As much as you want to imagine your stolen dog being in the care of a loving family, you just cannot help but wonder if it is actually being kept in a cage around the clock or used as a breeding dog in a murky, back-alley puppy mill. It’s a horrible thing to happen and doubly so for anyone whose dog acted as an emotional support animal.
Perhaps, now with the threat of covid slowly fading away and the notion of a ‘’quarantine puppy’’ a thing of the past, we could take a moment and reflect on who the real culprits where behind the soaring black market demand for French bulldogs and cocker spaniels.
Well of course it’s the shady, ordure individuals that keep hydraulic lock cutters underneath their car seats, detailed descriptions on each neighbourhood’s pet population and social media accounts created with the purpose of internet stalking potential victims.
But if we where not overcome with emotion and excitement and understood that the upfront, regulated dog breeder cares for the wellbeing of his dogs and that he deals with living, breathing animals and not with a puppy production line that operates with the press of a button, then perhaps all this mess could have been avoided.