Sadly, all too often these days we hear of pedigree and crossbreed dogs being stolen; for breeding, for hunting, for selling on to unsuspecting members of the public, held for ransom and worst of all, for use by dog fighting rings. Dogs may be taken from the roadside, from gardens, locked kennels, parked cars, outside shops or when exercising.
Groups specialising in helping to trace lost and stolen dogs, estimate that many thousands of dogs may be stolen in the UK every year. However, as the law stands we may never know the true figure, since dogs are usually logged merely as stolen or missing property and so accurate statistics are not kept by the police or Home Office.
It can be very difficult to get your dog back if he or she is stolen, so prevention is definitely better than cure, but what steps can you take to help ensure your dog’s safety?
Have your dog microchipped.
Dogs Trust offers reduced price microchipping, please contact us for more information. Alternatively (or additionally), get your dog ear-tattooed. Remember to keep your microchip details up to date if you should change address. You can do this free online at www.petlog.org.uk
or by post for a small charge.
Make sure your dog has a collar and tag with your name and address on it. This is a legal requirement anyway. Also include contact telephone numbers. You could also use a tag from a tracking company, such as Petsafe. If your dog has been neutered (which may put off certain types of thieves – especially if your dog is a pure-breed or pedigree) have a tag made which states this.
You may also want to state if your dog is microchipped.