50% of stolen dogs are working gundog breeds and Saturday 31st October marks the start of Gundog Theft Awareness Week 2020. Breeds such as spaniels, labradors and pointers are well known to be well-trained and well-socialised so it’s no wonder they’re an ideal target for dog theft.
The recent lockdown periods have meant more time at home and as a result, many people considering buying pets for the companionship. With such a huge rise in demand for dogs we have seen puppy prices increase and a rise of dog thefts, particularly gun dog breeds to meet this demand. According to Pet Theft Awareness dogs are stolen every day and the crime is rapidly increasing. We must all do all we can to keep our dogs safe and we have a number ideas on how you can do that here.
Our Chief Executive Tim Bonner also confronted the topic of the increase in demand for dogs during lockdown in an editorial published earlier this year and said: “Whilst the welfare of all dogs in important, there is something especially worrying about the thought of working breeds being bought for their looks and ending up in unsuitable homes where their need for exercise and stimulation might not be met.”
In early September we released the results of our much-anticipated Rural Crime and Policing Survey in which dog theft was mentioned by respondents. One of the participants – all of whom submitted anonymous results - had this to say on the subject of dog theft: “When my dog was stolen I was refused a crime number and informed that they wouldn’t take the report. I had to insist on a stolen report being made.”
Throughout the week we will be retweeting, sharing, and featuring various posts from organisations such as DogLost UK, Pet Theft Awareness and Gundog Theft Awareness (part of the Pet Theft Awareness Campaign) so keep an eye out for those. They all do an incredible job throughout the year raising awareness, sharing statistics and being an extra resource for those who have fallen victim to this crime.