At Nina’s Nannies for Pets, pet and home security is paramount, therefore the increase in pet thefts are extremely worrying!
Contrary to popular belief, it is not just dogs that are at risk of being taken! Horses and cats are also vulnerable and while home thefts are widely reported, dogs are now also being taken from outside shops and even whilst being walked!
There have also been reports of gangs that prowl Britain’s streets, stealing dogs to order. They are identifying their victims by daubing the letter ‘K’ on driveways. Police report that so called ‘lookouts’ are leaving the ‘K’ code in crayon or spray paint after finding valuable dogs worth stealing and selling on from unwitting owners’ gardens, so is it vital that dog owners are continually vigilant.
It is not just the owners who are being targeted. Having worked closely with local animal shelters it seems even they are not immune from the thieves, so what can we do to safe guard our pets!
Here are a few basic tips –
- Microchip your pet, and keep their details up to date.
- Keep your garden secure and padlock your gate. Thieves are less likely to target a secured garden.
- Keep your pets inside when you are not at home.
- Supervise your dog even in the garden.
- Do not exercise your dog in remote locations.
- Spay and neuter your pet, for they are less likely to stray from home.
- NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car, or outside of a shop.
- Be vigilant. Thieves will take every opportunity to snatch dogs that are being exercised off leash.
- Take a photograph of your pet and make a note of any distinguishing features. It may be required should they go missing.
- Keep photographs of yourself with your pet, since it will help to identify you as the owner.
- Vary the times and route in which walk with your dog. High value dogs such as gun dogs can be targeted and snatched by criminals!
Are you aware, that a dog collar and tag is a legal requirement in identifying your dog, if she/he goes missing? Please refrain however, from including your dogs name, since this is an added bonus for anyone wishing to lure your dog away.
Lastly and importantly, please ensure that any company, or persons unknown to you, have been thoroughly vetted before leaving your pets in their care. Are they registered and if so, with whom! Do you carry public liability insurance and can they provide a police background check to verify that their details are correct.
If the worst does happen and you believe that your dog has been stolen, report it to the police and insist that it is recorded as stolen and not lost. There is no central database for lost or stolen pets, so report them to as many agencies as possible and alert your local dog warden.
Social networking sites can prove invaluable in reunited pets with their owners, so use them. Put up posters and mail shot your neighbourhood and notify, veterinary establishments and local shelters.
Most importantly, keep your pets safe.