Hello, again, wonderful Pet Parents and hello to your dogs too!
In case you haven’t realised, it’s me, Hannah, again writing another post for you all, and it’s a bit of a serious one today too.
I approached Darren about writing this post as it’s vital for us that we’re supporting our Pet Parents not just by providing delicious treats and food but by arming you all with information.
Now, you may have heard that with Lockdown, the rise of people purchasing and deciding become Pet Parents has been on the rise. The result is that the cost of buying a dog has dramatically increased, but also there has been a notable rise in dog theft too.
I’ve noticed it in my local area and have heard from friends up and down the country that it’s happening in their areas too. So, we thought we’d share some information on how to protect you and your dogs.
Before we start, though, I’d like to say that we aren’t trying to scare anyone. But as Pet Parents ourselves, we’d hate to think that anyone one of our Pet Parents could be in the situation of having their dog stolen. This is why we’ve come up with these signs, alerts and tips to bear in mind.
General Tips to Prevent Dog Theft
Now, these may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to get comfortable and forget.
- Never leave your dog alone outside the shops or in a car by themselves. It may only seem like you’ll be gone a couple of minutes, but that’s all it can take for dog theft to occur.
- Ensure that your garden is appropriately secure, and consider getting a lock or alarm for your gate in case anyone attempts to get in your garden and seize your dog.
- Work on your dog’s recall, and do not let them off the lead until you are confident that they’ll come back when called.
- Vary up your walk times if you can. Thieves are always on the lookout for an opportunity and routine, so switching up your walk time can reduce the risk.
- Make sure that your dog is microchipped and that all details are up to date. I know how easy it can be to forget to update your mobile number or address if you’ve moved house. But it’s imperative to protect your dog and keep these details up to date.
Be Aware of the Signs
It’s always good to be extra cautious, especially when protecting our pets. So when in doubt, check!
- It’s been known that thieves will observe and check before committing a theft; if you notice anyone always being around when you walk your dog, note it down and make others in your household aware.
- It’s also been known for them to mark a house with a dog inside to signal to others. If you suspect or are aware of dog thefts happening in your area, regularly check the outside of your property and remove any marks or paint that you haven’t place there yourself.
- Carry an alarm or whistle with you and make it visible. Again this will deter thieves from attempting to snatch your dog, given that you can draw attention to yourself very quickly.
- Join your local Facebook group, even if you don’t participate; it’s an excellent way to keep an eye on what is happening in your local area and often report any attempted dog thefts. Feel threatened,
The RSPCA and Dog Theft
Unfortunately, thieves can be clever, and they aren’t all like Jasper and Horace or Cruella from 101 Dalmations. Recently, there have been reports of dog thieves impersonating the RSPCA officers and attempting to claim or take away dogs. So, we’ve also got a few tips for this as well.
- Remember, the RSPCA rarely approaches people in public unless they’ve witness animal cruelty first hand.
- If someone does approach you while on a walk claiming to be from the RSPCA, ask for some ID – often, this will often scare them off.
- If they pull up in a van and say that your dog fits the description of a dog that has been stolen – DO NOT let them take your dog or place them in the back of the van to check.
- Moreover, if anyone insists they’re taking your dog in as there have been reports of animal cruelty, refuse! RSPCA will always come to your home to check and will have the appropriate paperwork and ID.
- When in doubt, especially if you’re in a public place and you feel threatened, then call the police. This will alert the police to crime in the area and often scare off the thief.
We don’t want to scare anyone; we just want to ensure that all our pet parents are staying safe and aware and have the right information to protect themselves and their dogs.