Rise in dog theft
Posted on 10 October, 2016
Dog theft has risen 22%[i] in the past two years in England and Wales and a BBC investigation found more than 5,000 dogs have been reported stolen to police forces.
Thieves are targeting toy breeds that are popular with celebrities such as Pugs, Chihuahuas and miniature French Bulldogs; as well as gun dogs such as Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, and Springer Spaniels who are being taken for working purposes and illicit breeding.
The Missing Pets Bureau[ii] suggests as many as 38 per cent of all animals reported lost have actually been stolen and as many as 60 per cent of these are tragically never recovered.
Having a dog stolen is hugely distressing for everyone, especially if you are looking after someone’s pet whilst they are away. Therefore we have put together the following tips for homesitters to ensure it never happens to them.
Don’t leave dogs tied up outside shops/cafes etc – you may only be popping in for five minutes or so but the dog is now a potential target for theft and it only takes a few seconds to untie a dog.
Don’t leave dogs in cars – you shouldn’t do this, especially in hot weather. Most cars also have alarms so people tend not to lock the car, as the dog will set it off, and leave windows open. A determined thief however will break into a locked car so never leave a dog alone in the car.
Keep the dog on the lead or in sight at all times – if the dog has poor recall keep the dog on the lead. Even those that can be let off (with the owner’s permission) make sure you keep them in sight at all times as many dogs have been grabbed whilst people are out walking.
Keep the dog inside or supervised outside in the garden – many dogs are stolen from people’s back gardens so it’s important to know where the dog is all the time. If let out in the garden make sure someone is supervising them.
Vary the times of your dog walk – as far as possible vary the times when you take the dog out. Thieves do watch people and having the same routine can make you more vulnerable especially if you are walking an expensive ‘designer’ dog.
Remember if something does happen when on assignment you must phone our 24-hour phone line and report it straightaway, and we will advise you on what to do.