Be cautious when taking your dog shopping due to the increase in pet thefts
Recent statistics show that around 38% of animals that are reported as lost have actually been stolen, with 60% of them never being found or returned to their owners. Don’t become one of these statistics! These days we often see dogs tied up outside shops and left alone in vehicles, where they are easily spotted and stolen. Prevention is vital, as it’s not always the pedigree pets that are stolen; some opportunist thieves will take a non-pedigree dog and wait for the reward money to be offered. Small dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians and Maltese type breeds are very easy to pick up and run off with.
Be aware and vigilant
Never dismiss the risk of your dog being stolen. We hear about many cases of dog theft on social media and in the news, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Be constantly aware that it can happen in your area, and it can even happen to you and your dog.
Always use common sense when out with your pet and don’t let him roam off his leash. Avoid tying him up while you step inside a restaurant or store, even if it’s just for a very small period of time. It could be a well-meaning person that picks up your dog, possibly thinking that it is lost or abandoned. If you wouldn’t leave your baby or a wallet there, don’t leave your dog outside! A dog tied up outside a shop is very vulnerable and tempting to an opportunist thief.
Always ensure that your dog wears a collar with an ID tag, omitting the dog’s name and of course, make sure your pet is microchipped according to current legislation. Keep your details up to date, especially if you change your telephone number or move house.
Theft from carparks and walking areas
Many dogs are also reported as being stolen from these areas, with owners turning away from their cars to find their dog has disappeared. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye open for any suspicious persons or vans, and your fellow dog walkers. Ensure that you keep your dog within your sight at all times and should you need to turn away from them, put them on a leash.
Don’t let the theft of your dog ruin the fun you have with your pet. Awareness is always crucial to keeping your dog safe and to prevent theft.
Article by Derek Chambers of Finchley Dog Walker