KaiDog 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 Countryside Alliance suggests the following course of action should your gun dog be 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

• If your dog is microchipped, report it to Petlog. If your dog is tattooed, report it to the National Dog Tattoo Register

• Talk to neighbours and check with your local community – postal workers, milk men, shop keepers etc

• Approach the media to do a story and use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness. Forums such as Gundog Training Forum, The Hunting Life, The Gundog Club and Sporting Gun are all good places to post messages

There are also a number of resources available on line where you can publicise the theft and which offer help/advice:

Petlog – UK’s largest lost pet microchip database and reunification service which is owned and managed by the Kennel Club. https://www.petlog.org.uk/

DogLost – National Database for lost and found dogs http://www.doglost.co.uk/

Dog Watch – Circulates information regarding stolen dogs in the Thames Valley area to members, police HQ, dog wardens and re-homing centres http://www.dogwatchalert.com/

Dog Theft Action – Registered charity providing vital information to the victims of dog theft to assist them in their search for their stolen/missing dog http://dogtheftaction.com/

National Pet Register – Continually updated record of pets that have gone missing or have been found. Offers users the opportunity to register their pets for free and each pet is assigned a unique PetID. Should the pet go missing, information can at once be made available, as it is already stored on the Register in the members’ section. http://www.nationalpetregister.org/

Animal Search – Offers a free online search and missing pet advertising service http://www.animalsearchuk.co.uk/

Facebook and Twitter are also increasingly being used to help people trace their animals.

Like with many other things prevention is better than cure so here are a few steps which could deter thieves and help keep your gundog safe:

• Keep kennels close to the house and do not leave your dog in the car after shooting

• Consider a microchip or ear tattoo

• Set up CCTV with a movement sensor fitted which takes pictures day and night and install security lights

• When the dog is not working consider fitting a collar displaying contact details on a tag

• If not used for breeding neuter the dog and display this on collar tag

• Set up file on computer with good quality pictures of the dog, details of any scars or abnormalities plus microchip number/tattoo details and your full contact details. Get all email addresses of those who you would need to send the information to (police, dog warden, local authority, local vets, friends, websites, forums etc). You can then send the information out immediately should the need arise

• If you see anyone snooping around your property engage them in conversation, get a good description of them and their vehicle plus the registration number and report all details to the police