‘Dog theft’ how to combat it
With dog theft thought to be on the rise it is important to be aware of ways to prevent it or if this unfortunately happens to you then how to get your dog back.
The UK has seen a recent surge in dog napping recently and seems to be an increasing crime. It is now more important than ever ensure you dog is secure at all times whether you are at home or not. The best way to increase your dog safety is to follow these simple tips.
Microchip your dog – Your vet will recommend you have this anyway as it is going to become the law in 2014 however it is best to do this now as if you dog does unfortunately get stolen or even lost this is the best and quickest way to find them. Micro chipping is fairly cheap, will help locate your dog and even more important prove it is your dog. You can buy microchip scanners to ensure the chip is always working or ask your vet when you visit them.
Ensure you have clear photos of your dog including front and side profiles. These will be really useful if your dog was ever taken as you can place these around the local area for people to see when out dog walking. Include pictures of any unusual features they may have as this will help people distinguish your specific dog.
By law all dogs should wear a collar and ID tag when out in a public place. On the tag should have your name and telephone number. If there is space on either side include your address and note that your dog is micro chipped. Ensure you keep these tags up to date if you ever change address or number.
Be careful who you choose to leave your dog with. Always use professional kennels and dog walking companies as they have previous customers you can speak to and you know where they are based. Be wary of anyone who offers to walk your dog and doesn’t charge a high amount, this could be because their intention is to steal your dog.
Never leave your dog tied up in your garden, outside a shop or in your car. These are perfect opportunities to someone to steal your dog and your dog won’t be able to stop this. If you lessen the opportunity for dog nappers to steal your dog you are lessening the chance of this happening.
If you are unfortunate and your dog is stolen you need to report this immediately to your local authorities and alert local welfare centres. You can also contact groups to help you trace your pet using their microchip such as Doglost and Petsearch. You should create leaflets immediately using your photos and adding as much detail as possible.
A recent survey from Direct Line showed that almost 1 in 20 dog owners who lost their pet believe it was stolen and over a third of dog owners are concerned about their dog being snatched. These figures are alarming but show how dog napping is becoming part of society at the moment and only reiterates how dog owners need to work together, strengthen security and deter dog nappers.