A charity set up to help animal lovers find their lost or stolen dogs said a recent spike in the number of recorded dog thefts can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic and warned owners will be mindful of the possibility that they might buy stolen dogs.
A UK police force recorded 53 dog thefts in 2021, according to a Freedom of Information request from Direct Line Pet Insurance – up from 20 in 2020 and just eight in 2019.
Only two of the 53 missing dogs have been returned to their owners.
Across the UK, 2,077 dogs were reported stolen from 35 police forces who responded to the FoI request, although Direct Line Pet Insurance believes the true figure is 2,760.
Because of this threat to our furry friends, the experts at PuppyHero.com have put together a list of top tips for preventing dog theft and provided owners with helpful information about the crime.
The service has also listed the most common breeds targeted by thieves which The Derbyshire Times has collected for a gallery below.
– Practice calling and/or using a long leash: In the event of an emergency or a threat to your dog, it is essential to ensure that he will respond to your calls. Try to use tasty treats for your dog, as this will greatly help him remember.
– Avoid routine: This makes it harder for dog kidnapping gangs to track you and figure out when to intercept and steal your dog.
– Walk with a friend: whenever possible, opt for safety in numbers, a friend will provide an additional witness and backup if you encounter a dognapper.
– Don’t Give Your Dog’s Name: Putting your dog’s name on their collar, harness, or ID can make it easier for strangers to lure them away.
– Stay aware of your surroundings: keep your eyes on your dog and avoid distractions like cell phones. Try to always have a charged phone and don’t wear headphones when walking your dog.
– Be seen and heard as the owner: to make everyone aware that the dog is yours and that you have an eye on it at all times, to deter potential dognappers. – Walk in open spaces: if you feel uncomfortable, try to opt for open, populated spaces where you can be easily seen.
– Follow your instincts: If you think someone is following you or arousing your suspicions, quickly leave the area.
– Avoid location tags on social networks: this prevents thieves from knowing your address or the place where you regularly go with your dog.
– Highly Vigilant: Report any suspicious activity you see.
– GPS tracking collar: consider investing in a GPS tracking collar, this will allow you to know your dog’s position at any time.
– Beware of strangers who ask you a lot of questions: Always beware of a stranger who asks unusual or constant questions about your dog (both online and offline).
– Dog walking/kennel/toilet services: always carry out full and thorough checks to see if they are reputable and reputable.
– Note the emergency so-called shortcuts on your phone: they can help you if you feel threatened or in danger.
– Carry an alarm device: this can help scare off attackers and attract attention.
– Refuse help from strangers: Unless absolutely necessary, avoid offers of help from strangers for your dog.
– Tint your car windows: Dognappers are known to steal dogs from cars.
– Keep your dog on the side of the construction: keep him away from the sidewalk.
– An adult should always be in control: Make sure children always walk dogs in the presence of an adult, as dog trainers may be more likely to target those they consider less likely to resist.
– Find local stores that accept dogs: this will ensure that your dog does not need to be left outside or in the car.
– Protect the home and secure possessions: think dog cameras, CCTV and video doorbells.
– Dogs are easily caught in gardens: especially front gardens, so be sure to secure your garden with high fences.
– Locking and alarming gates: to prevent unwanted intruders.
– Leave a light on if your dog is alone at home: this can be useful in the evening, to give the impression that there is someone inside. At the same time, always turn on an outside light for supervised trips to the bathroom late at night so that you can see your dog in the house. every time.
– Outdoor kennels must also be fitted with an alarm and locked: for all dogs kept outdoors, ensure that the kennels are sufficiently secure.
– Engrave your path or driveway: this makes it more difficult for intruders to approach discreetly.
– Regularly test your home alarm: to ensure that it is in good working order.
– Lock your dog’s pet door when not in use: and don’t leave the window open in the room where your dog is.
– Don’t Introduce New Puppies Online: Be careful not to share new pets too much, puppies are especially valuable for napping dogs.
– Puppies that are not chipped are more valuable because they have no identification: be very careful in protecting puppies because they are prime targets.
– Be very careful with purebred dogs: they are the most valuable and therefore the optimal targets.
– Neutered Dogs Will Deter Thieves: As some thieves seek to steal pets to breed, a neutered dog will be less of a target.
– When selling puppies, have someone accompany you: limiting the number of people and presenting them in a single secure space can protect your dogs from theft.
– Proof of ownership: it is important that you have a document of ownership to ensure that there is no dispute in the event of loss or theft of your dog.
– Keep ID Collar Tags Updated: Make sure your current cell phone number and other contact information is on the tag.
– Have your dog microchipped: this will be done by your veterinarian, it will be relatively painless for the dog and inexpensive to do. This is required by law in the UK before the dog is eight weeks old.
– Be sure to take photos of your dog: remember to capture many angles and any identifying features. Also take a photo of you with your dog, before and after grooming.
– Your dog’s DNA: If you’re really concerned about your dog’s theft, consider collecting their DNA to match later if necessary. There are services that can help with this.
Dog breeds most likely to be stolen and their average price: