208 dog thefts reported in 2016
A recent report reveals that West Yorkshire has the highest number of dog theft incidents outside of London having risen by 19% since 2014. The most common breed to be targeted is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, closely followed by Chihuahua, Jack Russell and French Bulldog.
Criminals take dogs for a number of reasons including to sell on, to breed with or even for dog fighting. Therefore, pedigree dogs, young dogs, female dogs and potentially aggressive breeds are of particular interest.
South Yorkshire Police also issued a warning recently after a spate of pet thefts in their area, including 13 pugs taken from one home. They also reported thefts of other pets including rabbits and even a tortoise. See the story here.
Obviously this is devastating for the owners of these much loved pets. If you have animals at home you should make sure they are secure. Here is our advice on keeping animals safe from theft in the home:
- Secure your garden so that people can’t get in and don’t leave your animals out there unattended
- Don’t think that you can’t have a burglar alarm if you have pets; pet sensors can be installed that still allow you to set the alarm if your animal is roaming around. Always set your alarm when you go out and when you go to bed at night
- Don’t display ‘beware of the dog’ signs. While you think this may deter a burglar, it may actually do the opposite as it shows a pet thief that you have a dog at home
- Keep your doors locked even if you’re in. A thief can easily sneak in and take your pet if you’re in another part of the house
- While we all love to share photos of our beloved pets, be careful where you share these online. A Facebook or Instagram post could alert the wrong people to the pets you have, especially if you have a number of puppies in the house
- If you go away, make sure you leave your pets with people who will be as vigilant as you with pet security. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to follow the same security measures as you would, whether it’s a friend or a professional kennel service
- As well as a collar tag with contact details, have one that says ‘I am spayed’ as a spayed dog has no worth to a puppy farmer. You can often get these from vets or buy them online very cheaply.
- While it won’t protect your pet from theft, having them microchipped may help you get them back should the worst happen
It goes without saying that the theft of a pet is much worse than possessions so don’t take any chances. If you need any additional security advice then please call us on 0345 833 5543 or send us a message.