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Dog Theft and Awareness

Many of you may have noticed an increase of posts on Social Media about dogs being stolen in the UK, and in Devon.

The two most common reasons why dogs are stolen in the UK are:

  • To sell for profit.

  • To breed, especially if a very popular breed.

It's important to ensure you reduce the risk of your dog being stolen as much as you possibly can:

  • Don't leave your dog unattended in public, even for a minute, this includes tying up outside shops and leaving in the car.

  • Ensure your garden is secure, ideally with gate locked from inside and bolted at the top and bottom, and don't leave unattended in the garden.

  • Make sure your dog's microchip details are up to date.

  • If/when you leave the house, make it look like someone is home as much as possible.

  • Keep keys out of door or window locks (do keep them handy in case of emergencies and need to escape quickly).

  • Always lock doors and windows when leaving the house.

  • Don't share your location, or home identifying features on social media (including sharing regular running or exercise routes as this can give away times your house is empty).

  • Ensure there is a tag on your dog's collar (ideally a breakaway collar to prevent strangulation) without your dog's name on so thieves can't call your dog to them easily. Tags on collars are invaluable if a dog escapes or bolts.

  • When on walks, ensure your dog is always in your sight and can be recalled away from strangers. If you don't trust your dog to come back straight away then consider keeping on lead.

  • Vary your walking times and locations to prevent creating a pattern for thieves to track and plan around.

  • Beware of strangers asking too many questions about your dog.

Remember that it is up to you to ensure your dog is kept safe from thieves. There will always be extra ways to further prevent dog theft, so please don't use this blog as a complete guide.

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