A leading animal welfare organisation found that more than 50 dogs have been stolen from outside Sainsbury's in Brighton this year.
Lost dog agency, DogLost.Co.Uk claimed that drug addicts steal the pets and sell them in nearby pubs to raise cash to fund their habit.
It is claimed that Staffordshire bull terriers are the most targeted dogs. They are regularly stolen in Brighton and sold for up to £50.
Jane Hayes, of DogLost.co.uk said, "It is a despicable crime but sadly one which is increasing in Brighton."
"We are being contacted with increasing regularity by people in Brighton who have had their animals snatched from outside shops."
"They are usually only tethered to a post and it is easy for the thief. It's usually addicts who can then sell them on very quickly."
The organisation claimed that they receive more than 100 calls a week from the dog owners who report their stolen pets. They further claimed that South East generates its highest call volumes.
The RSPCA also claimed that every year they receive numerous reports of stolen dogs from Brighton and Hove.
A RSPCA spokesman said, "What purposes they are taken for is often difficult to say but it is quite possible it is for quick resale."
Dogs were taken from old the Sainsbury's branch in London Road and the new smaller store in New England Street.
However, Sussex police say that only a few dogs have been reported stolen recently and felt that it is not a big issue in the city.
A police spokeswoman said, "There have been instances in the past where animals have been reported stolen but it does not appear to be all that common."
A spokeswoman for Sainsbury's also said, "We don't have any record of it happening outside our shops but obviously we would urge people to be careful."
Dogs stolen by drug addicts
Wed, 20 Jun 2007
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