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Protecting Our Beloved Companions on Dog Theft Awareness Day

Protecting Our Beloved Companions on Dog Theft Awareness Day

Mar 14, 2024

As we mark Dog Theft Awareness Day this 14th March, it's crucial to acknowledge the growing concern of pet theft across the UK. With an alarming six per cent increase in dog thefts in 2023, totalling 2,290 stolen dogs, it's evident that our furry friends are at risk more than ever before. Dogs Trust, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity, sheds light on this distressing trend and offers essential advice to dog owners to safeguard their pets from theft.

The theft of a dog is more than just a loss of a pet; it's the theft of a family member. Despite the severe emotional impact, pet theft is not yet recognised as a specific crime, treated with the same severity as the theft of inanimate household items. However, momentum is building with a Private Members Bill gaining cross-party support in the Houses of Parliament, aiming to make pet theft a specific offence.

Dogs Trust emphasises the importance of proactive measures to prevent dog theft. To support this, here are detailed and styled preventative measures every dog owner should consider:

  • Secure Your Premises: Make sure your house and property boundaries are secure to keep your dog in and intruders out.
  • Supervise Your Pet: Keep an eye on your dog when they are in the garden and never leave them unsupervised.
  • Social Media Caution: Regularly review your privacy settings if you post pictures of your dog online, and ensure your address can’t be identified.
  • Sight During Walks: Always keep your dog in sight and pay attention to what they are doing. If off the lead, ensure they have good recall.
  • Avoid Unattended Public Spots: Never leave your dog unattended in a public place.
  • Car Safety: Never leave your dog alone in a car due to theft risks and potential overheating.
  • Identification: Ensure your dog is microchipped and wears a tag with your name, phone number, and address.

    Adding to the advice from Dogs Trust, consider these extra protective steps:

    • Visibility is Key: Maintain sight and proximity with your dog at all times, especially in areas with potential distractions.
    • Vary Walking Routines: Change routes and times to keep potential thieves guessing.
    • Stranger Caution: Be cautious if strangers show excessive interest in your dog.
    • Secure Collar and Leash: A robust collar and leash can prevent quick thefts, especially in crowded places.
    • Command Training: Train your dog for recall and not to accept treats or commands from strangers.
    • Community Watch: Engage with local community groups for mutual support and to monitor suspicious activities.

      In the unfortunate event of a theft, Dogs Trust advises immediate action, including reporting to the police, notifying local authorities, and updating your microchip provider. Keeping updated photos and distinctive features of your pet can aid in their recovery.

      Maria Murray, Associate Director of Prevention and Community Engagement at Dogs Trust, highlights the emotional toll of pet theft and the importance of taking proactive steps to prevent it. "For many owners, pets are members of the family, and being separated from them is devastating. By following these tips, you can reduce the chances of this despicable crime happening to you."

      For more detailed advice, visit Dogs Trust's dedicated dog theft advice page.

      As a part of the Superpet family, we stand with you in protecting our beloved pets. Let's all take a moment today to ensure our furry friends are safe and secure.


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