As the theft of dogs just seems to keep on increasing, I thought I’d share some helpful hints
Gardens – shocking fact – over 50% of dogs are stolen from gardens. Make sure your garden is secure & watch your dog in the garden at all times.
Home – Make sure your home is secure & be aware of anyone watching your home or movements, especially when with your dog.
- Consider sensor lighting & / or CCTV.
- Always check the ID of anyone claiming to be an inspector (RSPCA etc) who contact you, especially if they knock on the door, there have been reported cases of false vans taking dogs.
Walking – There have been a number of reported attacks on people who have been walking their dogs & someone tries to forcibly take the dog. There are also many reports of dogs disappearing on walks. Some helpful tips include:
- Keep your dog in sight as all times, even if this means you need to keep them on the lead.
- Varying the times & routes that you walk your dog.
- Be wary of strangers asking questions about or playing with your dog.
- Walk with other dog walkers, as the saying goes there is safety in numbers.
- Train your dog to return when called (recall).
Collar / Harness – Control of Dogs Order 1992, states that when in public your dog must wear both a collar & a tag. The tag must contain your name & address, a telephone number would also be helpful.
Do not include your dogs name as someone may be able to see the tag & entice your dog by calling its name.
Do not tie up – leaving your dog (unsupervised) tied up outside of shops or in public spaces is like a written invitation to dog thieves, your dog can be stolen very easily.
Online Caution – 50% of dogs that are stolen are puppies or young adults. Be cautious advertising dogs for sale online as thieves are constantly on the lookout for such advertisements.
Don’t leave dogs locked in cars, not only can they very easily overheat & in some cases die, it makes them an easy target for dog thieves. 5% of dog thefts happen this way.
Neutering & Spaying will reduce the likelihood of your dog being stolen for breeding purposes, unfortunately it does not mean that they wont be stolen & used for other horrific reasons such as for baiting fighting dogs.
Keep your dogs microchip details to hand.
- Register with a UK approved database
- Put the database contact number in your phone, along with your dogs microchip number.
- Make sure your details are kept up to date.
- Your vet can provide your dogs microchip number if you do not have it
What to do if your dog disappears or is stolen
- If you saw your dog being taken, call the police on 999.
- If you suspect your dog has been taken, or to report suspicious activity, call the police on 101.
- Call your dogs Microchip database.
- Call the local animal warden, local vets & animal rescues, in case your dog is handed in.
- Register on DogLost.co.uk.
- Use social media – try to use generic descriptions, such as black & white small dog, do not name them.
- Put up posters – try to use pictures that do not show your dogs collar for example, if someone calls you up, you can use this as a means of identification.
- Be wary of spam calls, claiming to have your pet & only willing to return them if you pay a fee.
Source: NAWT & Google images.