The area covering Kent, Sussex and Surrey is the "Bermuda Triangle" for dogs going missing, a charity has said.
Max was taken from his cage in the back of a car
Dog Lost UK has said that more than 500 animals have been stolen in the region during the past 12 months.
Brian Milligan, dog warden at Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, said that both the owners and dogs suffer.
"It's not just the stress of what the dog goes through, it's the stress for the owner. Imagine losing your little pet when that's all you have."
Last month, a pet puppy was stolen from a cage inside a parked car, in Dymchurch, Kent.
The five-month-old Jack Russell terrier, called Max, had been left in the back of a car parked next to the village hall.
Police said he was stolen by someone who broke into the Nissan Prairie and ripped open the door of his cage.
Officers said the 14-year-old owner had been left heartbroken.
Max was a rescue dog, having been found wandering the streets on Christmas Day and taken into kennels before going to a new home a short while later.
The charity said that out of 50,000 dogs taken across the country each year, 2,000 are in the South East, and Kent is the worst-affected area.