Dog theft, especially of working dogs, continues to be a huge problem in rural areas. With the increase in popularity of fieldsports comes the increase in demand for trained dogs and thieves see valuable gun dogs as a saleable commodity. DogLost has stated that almost 50% of its missing dog reports actually relate to working dogs. The most commonly stolen gundogs are cocker and springer spaniels and labradors.

 

When you are out and about

  • Never leave your dog unattended.
  • If you are in the pub or in a public area don’t boast about your dog, you never know who is listening.
  • If you have to keep your dog in the car for any period of time, ensure the car is locked. Consider the use of tinted windows or secured dog transit crates that can be locked.

 

Review your security at home

  • If your dog lives indoors, take the usual principles to ensure safety.
  • If kennelled then install a secure lock and alarm system.
  • Install remote access CCTV, which allows you to regularly check on your dogs from your mobile phone and security lighting on all outbuildings and kennels.
  • Never leave ladders or tools around that can be used by thieves to gain entry.
  • Sign up to local and regional neighbourhood watch programmes so you are aware of other local thefts in the area. Note down the registration numbers of any suspicious looking vehicles.

 

Are you having a litter of puppies?

  • Be extra vigilant.
  • Don’t put signs by the roadside to indicate you have puppies for sale.
  • If potential buyers come to see your puppies make sure you have someone with you and show them the puppies one by one.

 

If your dog is stolen

  • Swift action is a necessity – contact the Police, make sure you call 999 and get a crime reference number. Also contact your Local Council, Dogwarden and RSPCA to alert them should the dog be handed in.
  • Talk to neighbours and check with your local community – postal workers, milk men, shop keepers etc.
  • All dogs must now, by law, be microchipped, so ensure your details are up to date and report it to Petlog.
  • Take photos of your dogs from several angles and keep them with your dogs’ documents. These can then be circulated quickly in the event of theft and passed to the police
  • The use of social media is great to spread the word if your dog is stolen. Forums and facebook groups are good places to post messages, but be aware of hoaxers claiming to know where your dog is if you provide money. Keep the police up to date and always allow them to follow up any potential leads.

 

Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity either via 101 or 999 in an emergency.