Preventing Dog Theft

Over the last few months, my social media feed has been inundated with pictures of dogs that have been stolen and their owners pleading for their safe return or information leading to the whereabouts of their beloved pets. It has become a far too common occurence with owners now scared to walk their dogs in case someone tries to take their beloved pet. People have been beaten, held at knife point and had other weapons used against them. Houses and kennels have been broken into and the dogs stolen.

There are steps that you can take to prevent your dogs being stolen.

  • Wear a go-pro or action camera when out walking your dog. This may deter people as they will be recorded. I have spoken to the police and it is legal to wear a go pro camera if you are out walking your dog.
  • Use a locking carabiner to connect your dogs collar to his leash (image below.) This will prevent someone from being able to unclip your dogs leash from it’s collar quickly.
https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1541690090176-17d35a190b6c?ixid=MnwxMjA3fDB8MHxzZWFyY2h8MTN8fGxvY2tpbmclMjBjYXJhYmluZXJ8ZW58MHx8MHx8&ixlib=rb-1.2.1&auto=format&fit=crop&w=900&q=60
Locking Carabiner
  • Walk with another person. A friend or fellow dog walker.
  • Do not walk the same route at the same time each day. Mix up your routes and change your dog walking times through the day.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone acting strange or suspicious, report them to the police.
  • Make sure that your phone has a good charge on it when you go out in case you need to make an emergency phone call or take a picture.
  • Carry an attack alarm with you. You can get them on Amazon for about ten pounds.
  • If you are walking at night, take a torch with your or wear a head torch.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended outside a shop or establishment.
  • Do not leave your dogs unattended in your garden. So many dogs are being stolen from gardens and there are numerous reports of people looking into peoples gardens to see if they have dogs.

A company called petloc (www.petloc.com) have recently become popular. They design leashes and collars for dogs that have combination locks and are lined with steel cable so they cannot be cut or unclipped easily. They have a lot of orders right now so are recommending you contact them about preordering.

A lot of people have asked me about the handheld paint sprays that they have seen on Amazon. They are like a mace or pepperspray, however instead of spraying a blinding liquid, they spray paint that sticks to a persons skin and clothes and is difficult to wash off. I am still waiting for the police to confirm the legality of this product. From my research, it would appear that a case has never been brought up for using one. I have emailed the police and am waiting on them getting back to me. I will update as soon as I hear from them.

It is also important to be wary of where you are sharing pictures and information about your pets. Ensure that your Facebook profile is set to private and it might be a good idea to avoid posting pictures on groups with large numbers of people. It is far too easy to look someone up on Facebook and then go online to track them down.

Should the unthinkable happen and your dog goes missing. Contact the police immediately. You can also contact http://www.doglost.co.uk and report it, they will create a poster and your share it on their network. Post on social media and share it everywhere, make your dog too hot to handle. There are various other facebook groups dedicated to searching for lost dogs. There is also a Facebook group called Neighbourhood Woof Watch that reports stolen dogs and suspicious activity with regards to dog theft.

The key is awareness. You can also set up a camera at your home, get a doorbell camera so you can see who is at your door before you open it. There are various models available and they connect to your phone via an app.

It is also absolutely critical that you make sure your dogs microchip information is up to date. Make sure that you know your dogs microchip number and that the company have up to date contact information for you.

We all want to do everything we can to keep our dogs safe. I hope the information above will be of some help.