A serious topic this week. More than 1,750 dogs were stolen across the UK last year, leaving owners devastated and heartbroken as 80% were never returned.
Why do people steal dogs?
Most are sold on or used for breeding purposes; so making it clear on a tag that a dog has been spayed or neutered may deter the dog nappers.
Pets are also stolen in return for a reward. There have been many cases where a dog has been stolen, so the owners put up posters offering a reward which is what the thieves are waiting for. They then approach the owners with the lost dog and take the reward.
Five dogs are being reported stolen every day across the UK studies have found. And sadly, only one out of these five are recovered. More than 700,000 puppies are sold each year in a trade worth up to £300million. With so much money in the industry the incentive for criminals to steal dogs is high, and unfortunately the situation is only getting worse.
What breeds are most likely to be stolen?
The Staffordshire bull terrier was the most popular amongst dog nappers, with chihuahuas the second most popular. Breeds such as the pug and French Bulldog are on the rise as well.
Where are dogs being stolen from?
• 23% of dogs were stolen from gardens
• 11% stolen from homes
• 11% stolen whilst out walking
How to be vigilant in protecting your dog from thieves
- Keep gardens secure
- Keep doors locked
- Pedigree dog owners should be particularly vigilant, as dog nappers can spot certain characteristics meaning the dogs could be sold for thousands of pounds.
- Do not leave your dog tied up outside shops- unfortunately there is now a risk of dogs being stolen by doing this; unlike the olden days, where you could just tie your hound up whilst you popped into the shop for a pint of milk or loaf of bread.
- Vary the times you go for dog walks, and the routes you take. This makes it harder for dog nappers to plan there robbery.
- Don’t answer questions from strangers about your dogs, they may be collecting vital information which may determine whether your dog will be worth anything to them or not.
What to do if your dog has been stolen:
- Report the dog immediately to the local dog wardens.
- Report it to the police and demand that it is a recorded as a theft and not a lost dog.
- Contact the Dog Lost website and register a stolen dog with them
- Post on Social media and ask local groups, family and friends to share it.
- If someone claims to have found your pet make sure you meet them in a safe public place with other people around. Only hand over money once the dog is back in your hands. If someone calls and claims to have your dog but they need the money first- DO NOT send it to them, this is a very common scam.