Of course you are always careful and safety conscious on behalf of your beloved companion but never has it been so important as at present it seems
Unfortunately there have been so many reports lately both nationally and sadly locally regarding dog thefts. These thefts have particularly increased during the coronavirus lockdowns
The following points are worth reminding you of and for you to please share with people you feel may also need reminding. If you have pet insurance your policy may also provide help and advice if the worst case scenario ever happens
How to protect your dog from being stolen:
• Keep an eye on your dog when it’s in the garden and make sure fences and gates are secure and in good repair
• Never leave a dog alone in a garden if you go out
• Never leave your dog alone tied up when you go into a shop
• Keeping a range of photos of your dog from different angles could be used to help identify it if it does go missing
• Beware of strangers asking questions about your dog
* Helpful tip – although other owners are likely to be friendly and ask about your pet, if you feel uncomfortable about the kind of questions someone is asking, you don’t have to give accurate information. Some criminals might be interested in stealing younger dogs for breeding, if you feel someone is fishing for this information you can always add a few years to your pet’s age and say it is spayed
• It is law, but do ensure you microchip your pet to make it easier to identify if it does get stolen
• Keep your dog in sight if walking off lead in a park or field. If your dog regularly runs out of sight you may feel it’s best to keep on a lead at present
• Be vigilant, always carry your mobile phone. if you feel worried by strangers following you on your walk, put your dog on a lead, and ring 999 if an emergency
• Ideally do not walk in isolated places alone
• Also be vigilant in urban situations- dog thieves operate anywhere
• Don’t let children walk a dog alone
• Be careful regarding the photos you may put on social media of your pet
What to do if your dog does get stolen
If the worst happens and your dog does get stolen, there are a few things you can do to try to recover it.
First, report the crime to the police. You should then contact your local animal warden and any rescue centres. If your pet escapes or is dumped, these are the places it will most likely be.
If you have pet insurance, contact your insurer because they may be able to offer advice to help find it and pay for a reward and posters.
Finally, utilise newspapers, social media. Post pictures of your pet on social networks like Facebook, Next Door and Twitter, and ask people to keep an eye out. Share details as wide as possible
You might want to consider a GPS pet tracker. These either attach to your pet’s collar or act as a replacement collar.
They are usually robust enough to withstand your dog’s rough activities and are waterproof to an extent.