Dog Theft and How To Avoid Your Pet Being Stolen
At the moment being a dog owner is so stressful. The pandemic has massively affected the price of puppies, with many pedigree dogs being sold for double or even treble the price that they were before the first lockdown.
With people working from home and suddenly finding that they have the lifestyle to suit a puppy, demand has risen….and so have the prices.
Furthermore, puppy farmers and backstreet breeders are producing at an alarming rate, without a thought for the health of the poor animals.
Also, due to strict Covid restrictions, breeders have the perfect excuse to sell online, without giving potential owners the chance to see puppies in the place they were bred and with siblings and parents present. Any good dog owner knows that this is an absolute essential when buying a puppy.
As if these facts are not alarming enough, this huge demand for puppies has lead to a massive increase in dogs being stolen. A fact which is almost too hard to contemplate.
Breeders are being targeted and litters of puppies stolen along with their mother. Also, pedigree dogs are being stolen from gardens or whilst walking off lead. Female dogs are especially at risk but any pedigree dog can be sold almost immediately for substantial cash amounts.
I found the following BBC News article particularly informative yet extremely heartbreaking.
Why are dogs and puppies stolen?
There are various reasons why dogs are being targeted by thieves.
Here are the main reasons –
- To fill puppy farms with breeding stock.
- Stolen to order ie popular breeds.
- To obtain ransom money from owners.
- For dog fighting purposes.
So, how can we prevent our beloved pets from being stolen?
1 Make sure that microchips and collar ID tags are up to date.
Maybe you have recently changed your mobile telephone number or moved house. It’s easy to overlook changing the details, but it could get your dog back quickly, so make this a priority.
2 Make Your Garden More Secure
If your garden has adequate fencing to keep your dog inside you may think he/she is safe. However thieves will scale a fence to steal a dog. Consider raising fencing or supervise dogs at all times, don’t ever assume they are safe.
Put a lock on garden gates or a loud sounding bell to alert you that someone is entering.
Consider motion operated security lights or cameras if you are concerned about dog theft.
Avoid ‘Beware of the Dog’ notices, they are pounced upon by dog thieves.
3 Be Vigilant
Look out for strangers loitering around your home, they may be looking and listening for dogs locations and could return to steal them.
4 Cars and Shops
This should be common sense because dog owners have always been warned not to leave dogs unattended in cars or tied up outside shops. However, it needs mentioning.
Most dogs love routine and know exactly when it is time for ‘walkies’. However, it’s important to change your walking times so that the thieves are never aware of your routine.
Take someone with you if you are nervous that your dog may be stolen.
Don’t let your dog off lead unless his/her recall training is top notch. You need to be certain that your dog will not stray far from your side and come back when called. A GPS tracking device may be useful if your dog needs off lead exercise.
Refrain from posting your dog walking haunts on social media. Thieves may be watching!
Be cautious of strangers who approach and ask questions about your dog.
6 Puppies, Pedigrees and Pregnant Pooches
Take extra care when your dog is pregnant, especially if she is a pedigree. A puppy must be microchipped before eight weeks of age and before being sold, however thieves will try to steal litters before chips are in place.
A litter of unchipped pedigree puppies is worth thousands to a thief, so be vigilant, increase security measures and do not share on social media. If the puppies are being sold, don’t advertise until they are microchipped.
Take good quality photographs of the puppies, just in case they are stolen. Make a note of markings etc as a way to prove ownership and update the information because puppies change significantly in their first weeks of life.
Be extra vigilant when inviting people into your home when restrictions are lifted, have someone else in the house when people come to see your puppies.
If your pet is insured, check the small print to see if the policy offers help if your pet is lost or stolen. Some insurers will pay towards advertising costs to help you get your dog back.
If your dog is stolen.
If your dog is lost or stolen this article from this blog shows everything you need to do.
Thank you for reading