As you may have read in recent news articles, an increase in dog owners throughout 2020 has seen an increase in dog thefts across the UK. Dog theft awareness and prevention is something we are passionate about and there are some simple steps you can follow to help reduce the risk:
1. Secure your house and garden.
Keeping doors, windows and gates locked is a no brainer for deterring would-be thieves, not just from your physical property but from your four-legged friends too. Always supervise your dog when they are outdoors, even if your garden is relatively secure. Opportune thieves see unattended dogs in gardens as prime targets.
2. Be safe and seen.
When you walk your dog, always ensure they are in sight when off the lead. If your dog has a poor recall, reconsider if you should allow them off the lead. Thieves are known to target popular dog walking areas and a loose dog that is reluctant to return to its owner is an easy target. When walking your dog at night, use lights such as the Orbiloc Safety Light to ensure you can always see your dog.
3. Never leave your dog unattended.
Have you ever been tempted to leave your dog outside or in the car while you pop into the shop? Again, this is a prime opportunity for a dog thief and even just a couple of minutes could be enough for them to strike.
4. Ensure your microchip details are up to date.
If the worst were to happen, your dog’s microchip is the best way to ensure they are returned to you safely. Therefore, ensure the details registered on the microchip database are up to date. If you move to a new house or change your contact number, you should apply for the details to be updated as soon as possible.
If your dog is stolen, you must act quickly. Report the theft to the police, your local dog warden and your microchip provider as soon as possible. Social media is a good platform for raising awareness of stolen dogs and can help to track them down. Always keep up to date photos of your dogs, including any identifying markings to help in the search. Most of all, it is important to be vigilant. Be aware of any suspicious activity to help protect you and your community.