Dog theft is on the rise with the number of cases spiking since the lockdowns first began last year. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse some families are facing the heartbreak of losing their beloved furry family member. Although not quite the happiest of topics to kick off our blog series – we felt it important to share some helpful information so you can keep your four-legged friends safe and secure.
It goes without saying to secure the garden so our adventurous pets can’t wander too far. But it’s not just our wandering dogs that’s an issue. Lots of dog thefts take place right in the garden where the dog lives. Ensuring your garden is secure and your dog is within view is really important to helping keep our companions safe and sound. It’s also helpful if you can install security cameras for an extra level of protection – these work as deterrents to thieves and help with the search if the unfortunate should happen.
As well as having your dog microchipped it’s important to keep the contact details on them up to date. Should your dog go missing, and a stranger finds them, it’s much easier for them to be reunited with you if they’re microchipped. It also helps if your dog has been stolen, as if the dog is spotted and reported to the police or taken to a vet for healthcare, it’s easy to scan and see who the original owner is.
GPS dog trackers
It’s possible to now track your dog using a digital tracker on their collar. These are great for identifying where your dog was last wearing the device. It’s also helpful for spotting if the dog is lost instead of stolen as you’ll be able to pinpoint their location and movements.
Safer dog walks
Many dog walkers relish in the long scenic dog walks and they’re all the more beautiful with a sunrise or sunset on the horizon. But it’s also important to make sure you and your dog are safe during these walks. Let your loved ones know the route you’re taking and when you expect to be home. Try to go when there are others around – if there are witnesses it’s less likely a theft will take place. And finally, keep your dog in view, it sounds obvious but it’s so easy for opportunists to spot a lone dog and make their move.
If you’re a user of social networking like Facebook, look out for local or neighbourhood groups. These often share details of thefts of attempted thefts – sometimes they’ll give descriptions of the criminals so you can be on the lookout for them. It also helps if you know that such occurrences have taken place near to you, so you can be extra cautious.
What to do if you suspect a dog is stolen
If you spot a dog which you believe to be stolen take down as much information as you can, including:
- Exact location of spotting
- Detailed description of the dog – any distinctive markings, breed, colour, size.
- Detailed description of the people in possession of the dog.
Once you have this information contact your local police as there may be a crime reference number logged for this dog which the police can follow up.
What to do if your dog is stolen
Act quickly if your dog is stolen – here are some things you can do to help:
- Log the theft with your local police right away. Ensure you report your stolen dog as a theft (rather than a lost animal) this will provide you with a crime reference number
- Contact the microchipping database so they can flag your dog as stolen. If your dog’s chip is scanned it will inform the vet or person scanning so they can notify you.
- Share posters in your local area so neighbours can keep a look out and report any sightings.
- List your dog as missing on relevant websites to help broaden the search. There are many around so list on as many as you can to improve chances: Dog Lost, Missing Dogs UK (Facebook), Lost Dogs UK, Animal Search UK, National Pet Register, Pets Reunited.
- Share your dog’s photo on social media for the local and surrounding areas.
- Search your regular walking routes just in case they’ve headed to somewhere familiar.
- Check for local dogs for sale, a quick google search of ‘dogs for sale in [your location]’ should bring up lots of sources. Scour the sites to see if you spot your beloved furry friend.
We hope this information has been helpful and informative. And although not quite the most pleasant topic to explore we hope it will make an impact if the worst should happen.
Wishing you and your four-legged family members safety, security and home comforts always. We promise our next blog won’t be quite so heavy going.