Dogs disappear in front of shops where they wait for their owners on a leash or are stolen from cars, gardens or while out on walks.
Especially in danger of being stolen are pedigree dogs and popular breeds such as French bulldogs, Dachshund and Pugs. These dogs are stolen either for resale due to the high prices they fetch online or for breeding purposes so the puppies can be sold on for substantial profits. The increase in demand for pets especially during the lockdown period and subsequent increase in the price of puppies/dogs sold online has made the situation even worse with a significant increase in dogs being stolen in many countries. This type of theft is very distressing for both the owners and their pets, so we have put together some tips for you to help keep your pets from being stolen.
- Never leave a dog unattended outside shops or other public places, this provides the perfect opportunity for pets to be stolen.
- Avoid leaving dogs on their own in cars dog thieves have been known to break into locked cars to steal dogs (and never leave a dog in a car on a warm/hot day!)
- Avoid leaving dogs in outside kennels and check holiday boarding kennels have appropriate security measures in place to keep your pet from being stolen.
- Ensure rear garden gates are locked at the top and bottom with a shoot bolt and padlock. Consider fitting a bell or gate alarm as well.
- Ensure the garden boundary (fence, hedge etc) is secure so that no one can gain entry or pull your dog over the fence or out through the hedge. Make sure your dog can’t escape as well on their own and that the fencing is secure.
- Ensure your dog is microchipped (this is now a legal requirement in many countries) and registered with up-to-date information on the microchip database.
- Ensure that your dog wears a collar when out with a tag on it (don’t put your dog’s name on the tag use your surname and a mobile number).
- Take plenty of good, clear photographs of your pet so that your dog can be easily identified if lost or stolen and you can produce lost posters/banners.
- Consider driveway alarms to alert you of visitors or use monitored CCTV/Alarm/Camera systems to outside areas. These will alert you if anyone is on your property.
- Be aware of and report all suspicious vehicles or people to the authorities. Ask your neighbours to do the same.
- When out walking your dog always know where your dog is. Be mindful of anyone who may be trying to distract your attention away from your dog or attract your dog’s attention away from you. They may be doing this so that they can steal your dog.
- If using a dog walker, ensure that they are aware of and have taken appropriate security advice to protect your dog when in their care.
- Report all missing/stolen dogs to local authorities so that if found they can be reunited with their owners.
- Don’t give details of your or your pet location, or your walking locations on your social media sites.
- Notify pet-friendly communities online if your pet is stolen as they will share and increase awareness of the theft and the number of people looking out for your pet.
Keep your pets safe!