Sadly, Four Paws is receiving more and more reports of dogs being stolen, causing trauma to both the animals and to their heartbroken owners.
In recent months, dogs have been stolen in burglaries, from outside shops, when walking in the park, from parked cars and they've even been snatched out of their owners' arms in the street.
Many people are as close to their dogs as they are to their children, so having a dog stolen from them can feel very much like a bereavement.
We would encourage all dog-owners in Belfast to be extremely vigilant when out walking their dogs and would advise them not to leave their companions in cars, or outside shops, if at all possible.
Microchipping a dog can also increase the chances of finding them again if the worst happens.