Dog-napping: What Can I Do?
We love our dogs, and we know you do too. The thought of losing them, especially to unscrupulous people who may steal them in what has become known as ‘dog-napping’, has caused anxiety amongst many loving dog-owners.
Certain breeds, such as Staffordshire bull terriers, are targeted by criminal gangs, to use in illegal fighting rings or to sell on. Smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas are seen as ‘fashionable’, and are usually stolen for profit. An investigation by the Mirror newspaper highlighted Yorkshire, London and Kent as ‘hotspots’, with around 10 dogs stolen a month in these areas. In April it became compulsory for dogs to be registered on the National Canine Database - in a bid to deter thieves. The chips mean animals can be traced back to their owners and reunited with them if they are found.
So what else can I do to prevent this? There are some common-sense strategies that we can all use to minimise the risk of dog thefts.
- The most common place dogs are stolen from is front gardens. Make sure your dog is under supervision if they are playing out there. Back gardens are generally less accessible for opportunist thieves, but you should still ensure they are not left alone for long periods.
- DO - Ensure your dog’s tag contains your name, postcode and a contact number
- DO – consider a GPS tracker
- DO – review your home security. A Crime Prevention Officer in your area will be able to give you the best advice
- DO – vary your walking routes, or walk with a friend, if you have any suspicions
- DON’T - tie your dog up outside a shop
- DON’T - leave your dog unaccompanied in a car
- DON’T - give out information about your dog to a stranger or anyone showing particular interest in your dog
- And last but certainly not least….ensure your dog is micro-chipped! This is the primary way for you to be reunited with your dog if it is lost OR stolen.
No-one wants to think that this will happen to them, but it pays to be alert. Following some simple guidelines will help to deter thieves and reduce the likelihood of losing your beloved pet.
You can pre-register your dog at Doglost UK – follow the link below for more information and advice.