A wave of dog-napping is sweeping the UK. According to Sainsbury's Bank nearly half a million dogs have been stolen over the past five years.

But it warns that a quarter of pet insurance companies offer no reward for the return of lost or stolen pets. Typical cover provides up to £1,000 towards advertising and up to £750 in compensation if the pet does not come home.

Esure is also doggedly determined to do its bit and covers up to £1,000 if a member of the household is physically assaulted during the dog-napping incident and pays for a dedicated counselling service.

But, there can be a wagging tail at the end of the trauma. Last year, celeb Liz Hurley was a victim. But her black labrador Emily was later returned.