The rise of dog theft and what you can do to protect your furry friend
Recent figures show that 5 dogs go missing every day in the UK; this figure means that 10% of dog owners will face the terrible shock of their dog disappearing – all too often as a result of theft. This figure could be even higher, as it only counts those reported to authorities – and many people may think their dog has run away, not reporting the loss to police.
With these figures in mind, we have five tips to help you protect your pet from thieves – and keep your little pal safely by your side.
Most people will ensure that their pet wears a collar with an ID tag, a way for someone to contact you should your dog go wandering – but too many people are still failing to have their pets microchipped.
Since April 2016, microchipping your dog is a legal requirement – and failing to comply could see you landed with a £500 fine, considerably more than the cost of having the procedure done. These microchips not only mean that you can be contacted if your dog gets lost, but act as proof of ownership if your dog is stolen; of course you can still give your dog an ID tag, and fill your home with photographs of your furry friend to evidence your ownership – but a simple two minute visit to the vet covers you legally, should the worst happen.
If you leave your pet home alone, installing CCTV can act as a deterrent to thieves, and capture evidence of any unwanted visitors who might try to steal your dog. Good quality CCTV will capture clear, detailed video which can be used to identify thieves, and act as proof of ownership.
Pet Friendly alarms
There are home alarm systems which can be programmed to factor in your furry friend – giving them the run of your house without setting bells ringing, and this can even include cameras around your property so that you can check in on your pet no matter where you are.
Switch up your routine
Rather than walking the same route every day, where potential thieves could monitor your routine and target your pet in locations you let your guard down or allow your dog some off-lead antics, change your patterns regularly. This makes it tricky for thieves to track your movements and reduces the chances for dog theft.
Be wary of strangers showing too much interest in your dog, asking lots of questions and wanting specifics about the breed, their behaviours, and personal information about your life – many dog thieves act with friendly interest to gather information so they can target you.
Always be careful about leaving your dog tied up outside shops, in your car, or anywhere that they are out of your sight; dog thieves are opportunistic, and it only takes a matter of seconds to commit the crime and make a getaway.
If you have to go away, or work long hours, and need to find a dog walker or kennels for your pet, always do your research and be sure to source a reputable company, and ask for references.
Dog theft is on the rise in the UK – protect yourself, and your furry friend, from the trauma by being cautious and taking steps like these to avoid that heartache, and minimise the risk of being targeted by dog thieves. If you would like to find out more about CCTV or our Pet Friendly Alarms, contact the team at Town & Country today on 0800 160 11 25.