Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 00:01, 01 September 2014 |
Updated: 10:26, 01 September 2014
According to latest figures, 128 pets of all breeds were taken in the county last year - putting the county behind only London with 165.
Of those stolen, 11% were gundogs - with suggestions they might have been smuggled abroad without certification after becoming victims of organised rural crime.
Gundog puppies are highly valuable, selling for up to £800, while a fully trained one - used for retrieving game - can fetch £3,000.
They are being stolen from kennels, parked cars and on shoots across Kent.
Robin Edwards, County Land and Business Association (CLA) director, said: "Some gundogs are almost stolen to order.
"The number of thefts has been steadily rising since 2009, an increase of some 15%.
"They are pedigree dogs and they can be sold as working dogs or used for breeding."
The group's findings are echoed by the dog section at Kent Police.
Insp Mick Gardner said: "There is no single reason why dog thefts may be on the increase, but the south east's proximity to Europe may go some way to explaining why the region has some of the highest numbers of recorded thefts.
"Most dog thefts are from insecure gardens or kennels and we know that certain breeds are more popular with thieves, namely those that can be bred from or are working dogs of one sort or another.
"In response we have carried out a number of operations to disrupt organised rural crime.
"We encourage owners to ensure their pet is micro-chipped and kept as secure as possible."
Stories you might have missed
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.