Dog meat remains a popular delicacy in many Asian countries. It is believed that dog thieves can earn up to £60 a night stealing pets, with one thief bragging that he has stolen over 3,000 dogs.
"In the seven years I've been working, I've stolen round 3,000 dogs, big and small," a dog thief told documentary reporter Nelufar Hedayat from the Express paper.
But the appalling trade has also been met with a violent backlash - including mob killings of some dog thieves.
This page will show the grim reality of how pet dogs are stolen and slaughtered for their meat in Asia
This footage shows how dog thieves steal a helpless dog from a street in seconds, to be sold later at the dog meat eating Festival in Yulin.
Dog thieves in 2017
Dog thieves in 2016
Dog thieves in 2015
Dog thieves in 2014
News on dog thieves for 2018
30th May 2018 - Daily Mail - Chilling moment dog thieves shoot poisonous darts into pooches before stealing them for their meat in ChinaChilling moment dog thieves shoot poisonous darts into pooches before stealing them for their meat in China
Disturbing surveillance footage from China has captured how dog thieves poisoned and stealing pooches on a street.
The video, filmed in eastern China, shows two suspects shooting what's believed to be toxic darts into three dogs during the wee hours.
After leaving the dogs to struggle for two minutes or so, the suspects, wearing helmets and masks, came back to pick up the motionless animals, according to the clip trending on Chinese social media.
According to the video on Sina Weibo, the incident took place in the city of Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, on Sunday.
The use of poison in stealing or killing pet dogs is a common practice in China, but few suspects are arrested and punished partially due to the lack of animal protection laws in the country.
Shocking conducts captured on CCTV footage as such often spark controversy among the Chinese public, many of whom keep pet dogs.
Earlier this month, a pet owner from Yangzhou, eastern China, was convicted of manslaughter after knocking over a suspected dog thief while chasing the motorcycle-riding man in his van.
The suspected dog thief died in the hospital as a result of the incident.
The pet owner, 42, was given a three-year suspended sentence. The case led to a heated debate in China as to how the pet owner's behaviour should be categorised and judged.