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How to best protect you and your pet from being victims of theft.
Since the start of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, there has been a huge rise in the demand for dogs and puppies. With people spending more of their day at home, it seems an ideal time to bring a canine chum into the family.
However, the demand has been so great that the ‘supply’ has struggled to keep up. It’s not because there are not enough puppies out there looking for homes, more that particular breeds are desired. This has allowed organised criminals to ‘cash in’ by filling the gap in the market. Animals health and welfare is often compromised for profit and increasingly, the desire for specific breeds and cross breeds results in theft of much loved pets.
Here are some pointers on what you can do:
Microchip – It is essential your details are up to date and that you have several contact avenues available should your dog be stolen or go missing. Keep a note of the chip number somewhere safe. Remember to tell your ID chip register if your dog is missing.
Secure your garden – Make sure there are no gaps your dog can wriggle out or if they are quite athletic, heighten your garden boundary so they can’t jump over walls/fences.
Don’t leave them alone – never tie your dog up outside a store whilst you go shopping. Don’t leave them alone in a car or in your garden where they are visible.
Practice recall – You need to be able to get your dog back to you just by asking. So often a distraction can lead a dog to investigate and get waylaid, their attention is focused on smell. You should be able to get your dog to return to you on command. If this is not achieved yet then keep them on a lead until you are confident.
Walk different routes – Being in a routine means your movements are easy to predict, therefore thieves can take advantage.
Take lots of photos – Each dog is unique but markings, quirks and little bumps that are recorded mean they are easier to identify.
Check your insurance – some policies will help with the cost of advertising should your pet go missing.
Dogs, who in 2019 would have perhaps sold for £200, are now being bought for £2000 -£3000+. It’s easy to see how lucrative dog theft can be.
If you suspect your dog has been stolen, please inform the Police on 101 ASAP and advertise them missing as much as possible nationwide.