We are all aware that since lockdown dog theft has been rife. Officially, 2020 has been the worse year for stolen dogs with 250% increase in some areas.
The Dogs Trust say that as many as 2,000 dogs are stolen every year, but they fear this number may be higher as not all dog thefts are reported.
Unfortunately, dogs are deemed as a piece of property and as such, stealing one carries a maximum penalty of 7 years, but this only applies to objects worth over £100,000.
Less than 5% of pet theft results in a conviction!
Over 50% of dogs were stolen from gardens, 16% whilst out walking, 7% from outside shops and 6% taken from cars.
What you can do; Be alert and aware – not afraid.
Carry a personal attack alarm or loud whistle.
Check your dog’s microchip details are up-to-date.
Always have your phone charged and on you.
Double check your garden is as secure as possible.
Tell someone where you’re going for a walk and switch up your walking routes.
Walk with another person if possible.
Don’t tie your dog up outside a shop while you go in.
Don’t leave your dog alone in the car.
Hopefully, this nightmare situation will never happen to you, but if the worse happens, then here’s a few pointers.
What to do if your dog is stolen;
Call 999 if the theft is in progress, 101 if you notice any suspicious behaviour.
Try to note any details of anything distinctive about the people and their vehicle.
When you report it to the police, ask it to be recorded as a theft, not a lost animal.
Note if there are any security cameras around.
Let your microchip company know.
Use social media, local community groups, dog walking and dog training pages etc. making sure that clear details of when and where your dog was taken. Give your contact details and make sure the post is set to public so it can be shared.
Report to DogLost.
Some helpful resources on this subject; https://doghorn.uk/
Pet Detective TV https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrvSe0K9seZur_K1grdqGFg
Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance