Dog theft - what to do

Lockdown, the furlough scheme and the increase in more people working from home has meant that an unprecedented number of people have had the time to take a new puppy or dog into their lives. 

Such demand has dramatically increased the prices of virtually every dog available. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a huge increase in the number of dog thefts.

The heartbreak that an owner feels when their beloved pet is stolen is devastating. Not knowing where they are, what’s happening to them, are they still alive? Are they being fed and cared for?

Our dogs are more than our pets, they are our friends, our companions, and they love us unconditionally. To have them stolen away from us is terrifying.

How to reduce the risk of your dog being stolen

There are things that owners can do to reduce the risk of having their dog stolen.

Do not leave your dog unattended: In order to stop the ‘opportunist thief’, owners should never leave their dog unattended outside a shop or school. It takes two seconds for someone to grab your dog and either run away with them or bundle them into a car.

Avoid leaving your dog unattended in a vehicle: Take them with you, or have someone stay with them.

Avoid walking in secluded areas: There have been cases where owners have been approached by strangers offering to buy their dog or even forcibly take them from the owner.  Try not to walk in secluded areas whilst the risk of theft is so high.

Monitor when off-lead: If you let your dog off lead when walking be sure to keep him close to you so that you can put him back on his lead to keep him safe if someone is acting suspiciously.

Avoid kennelling in a garden, if you can: Dogs that are kennelled in a garden seem to be regularly targeted. If this can be avoided, it would be safer.

Secure your gates and garden: If your dog has free access to your garden, it is advisable to ensure that your gate has two bolts on the top and bottom, and a padlock if possible. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a garden if they can be seen from a footpath or road.

Be mindful of social media: Be mindful about posting pictures of your new puppy on social media as you can never be sure who might be a little too interested in him. It’s a good idea to turn off location tracking on your social posts, so people cannot see the location you have posted your image.

What to do if your dog is stolen or missing

This is something that no pet owner ever wants to encounter. If the worst happens and your dog is stolen, notify the police and the Dog Lost service.

Ensure you have your dogs microchip details close to hand and updated with the latest contact information, and be sure to have some photographs of them to prove ownership.

If you are looking for more advice if your dog has gone missing or has been stolen, please head here.

Still looking for advice?

If you are looking to speak to someone about your missing or stolen dog, or have any other questions about your pet, please contact us.

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