Be cautious when taking your dog shopping due to the increase in pet thefts
The mere thought of your beloved dog being stolen or taken from your home without your knowledge is enough to make you weep, but in reality, this is a very tangible threat. Sadly COVID-19 and lockdown has increased dog theft.
Thieves never steal dogs to love them! They abuse them, mistreat them and consider them as disposable objects for financial gain. Dogs are stolen as a gateway to broader animal cruelty. This includes dogfighting and puppy farming, and they certainly don’t have the dogs’ welfare at heart.
Dog theft is on the rise.
It reported that more than 60 dogs are stolen each week in the UK! Don’t become one of these statistics! Did you know that some police forces often recorded pet theft as a burglary or robbery – rather than as theft? This, of course, hides the true extent of the problem of dog theft. In recent years, with the interest in social media, dog thefts feature even more as campaigns attempt to reunite the owners with missing dogs and cats.
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 straightforward to pick up and run off with.
Be aware and vigilant.
Never dismiss the risk of your dog being stolen. We hear about many dog theft cases 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.
Secure your home and boundaries
Ensure that your garden boundaries are secure, lock any gates and install CCTV and visible alarms to your property. Monitor your dog when he’s in the garden and ensure that you can see who approaches him too. It’s also a good idea to vary your walking routes and times of your daily walk in case you are being followed.
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.
Dog Theft from car parks 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. Be aware of your surroundings, 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 keep your dog safe and to prevent theft. No matter if your dog is a cross-breed, a rescue dog or a pedigree, all dogs are potential victims.
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