How does a person feel when their dog is stolen?

The findings support the idea that pets really are part of their owners’ families, the researchers said

According to a new study, the emotional upheaval caused by the abduction of a dog is similar to what a parent feels when they lose a child.

The findings support the idea that pets really are part of their owners’ families, the researchers said.

When faced with the theft of a pet, owners feel the same feelings of helplessness, complaint and loss. In fact, some respondents felt that the loss of a dog was stronger than the death of a friend or relative because they had a close relationship with their pet, but not with some family members.

“This shows a strong love for dogs and parental responsibility on the part of the guardians,” said lead researcher Akaanksha Venkatramanan, assistant psychologist at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.

For the study, published April 25 in the journal Animal-Human Interactions, researchers interviewed four people who had stolen their dogs.

Researcher Lindsey Roberts, a lecturer at the University of the West of England, said: “The research started when my friends’ dog, Lola, was stolen from her garden, right under her nose. .

“The ordeal has shaken everyone and I felt the need to do more to support those who had their dogs stolen from them,” she said.

Dog owners in the study reported consistently experiencing sadness, despair, hopelessness, emotional pain, and numbness after losing their pet.

According to the researchers, the same emotional reactions were recorded after the death of loved ones, but society deals with the loss of people differently than the death of beloved pets.

According to researchers, the owners’ mental despair often stems from not understanding how much a pet can mean to someone.

In addition, dog-theft laws that treat pets as “stolen property” — the equivalent of a bicycle or purse — add to owners’ pain and limit the support police can provide.

It should be noted that since the pandemic, the number of people at risk of experiencing something similar has increased. Around 3.2 million pets were bought in Britain during lockdown because people wanted companionship, researchers said, and there has been a 250% rise in dog thefts since.

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