Gangs of tradies, teenagers and drug addicts are stealing young pups from yards and selling them on the black market for up to $15,000, a pet investigator claims.
Kirilly Cull, a pet finder who runs a Queensland's biggest lost and found group on Facebook, says she believes the dognapping ring are targeting Australian suburbs with breeds such as Staffies, French Bulldogs and Cavoodles particuarly at risk.
She believes the dogs are being sold for breeding, fighting or to make a quick buck on market sites such as Gumtree.
Ms Cull said she believes the dognapping ring are getting their in with nonchalant dog owners allowing tradesmen inside their homes.
"There are a lot of good tradies out there, but there are some who have drug problems, debts or just need a bit of extra cash so they scope out what you've got" Ms Cull said.
Ms Cull became impassioned to dedicate her work to finding lost or stolen dogs and reuniting them with their rightful owners after a theft attempt left her dog with a knife wound in the gut.
She claimed that her pet was scoped out by workers months earlier.
Ms Cull wants the laws in Australia to change and recognise pets as 'sentient beings' and give more punishments to thieves taking pets.
She believes that these thefts will continue to take place unless laws are changed as thieves think of pets as exchangeable items such as an iPad or a TV.
Since Ms Cull's claims, Queensland Police have stated that a tradie dognapping ring is currently not on their list of priorities.
'There is no known trend in relation to any organised thefts of dogs to sell them,' a spokeswoman for the force told news.com.au.
She gave a few tips for owners stressed about their animal being taken.
She advised to keep gates locked and electronic ones always in repair to keep their yards lit.
Ms Cull's warning comes after a Brisbane woman's stolen 14-week-old puppy held for ransom by a teenager who demanded $1,300 for its safe return.
Sara Whomsley's black Staffordshire Terrier puppy, Gertie, was stolen from her Moorooka home while she and her husband were at work last week.
Ms Whomsley said painters were working at their house when a man walked in and introduced himself as a member of the family.
'A guy came off the street and passed himself off to the painters as a member of our family or friend who had permission to get our dog. He unclipped her from her lead, took her off the property, and off he went,' Ms Whomsley told Today.
Ms Whomsley said her husband got back from work and found their puppy had been missing for an hour.
She posted an ad on Gumtree the same night and soon after that the teenager contacted her saying he had her dog and demanded $1300 to return it.
'So it sort of turned from a stolen dog into a bit of ransom dog situation,' she said.
The next day Ms Whomsley arranged to meet with the teenager at a Slacks Creek address in southern Brisbane.
Ms Whomsley said the 'harmless' teenager arrived leading her dog with a rope tied around its neck.
The boy reportedly told the family that he had purchased the dog from a man at Yeronga, about three kilometres from the family's home, for $1250.
He then saw their Gumtree ad and decided to contact her.
The teen reportedly said he deserved a $300 reward and not the $1300 he had initially demanded.
Police are currently still investigating the incident. And now how interested police are now days, they'll still be looking in the afterlife.