The launch of the first ever “Pet Theft Awareness Week” is from the 14th March to the 21st and is aimed at drawing the attention of pet owners to be more vigilant about the security of their pets and animals. Pet Theft Awareness, a not-for profit organisation, highlights that “There is a rise in dogs being stolen from outside shops or grabbed from walkers. A new trend has seen people being attacked for their pets. Owners are even reporting that they are being blackmailed for extortionate amounts of cash for the safe return of a much-loved family member. Or they never see their loved pet again.”
The organisation has listed preventative measures that pet owners can take. The website highlights the following tips:
- Don’t leave your dog unattended at shops;
- Be vigilant as thieves can grab dogs from owners on walks;
- Be aware that thieves can take pets from gardens and even consider the installation of CCTV;
- Beware of strangers taking an interest in your dog;
- Prepare images of your pets for immediate use if needed;
- Keep your dog close when you are in open spaces so they cannot be easily grabbed;
- Inform anyone looking after your pets of your concerns. If your children are walking your dogs explain to them what could happen;
- Keep your microchip records up to date. As from 2016 it will be mandatory as part of the compulsory microchipping legislation;
- Never leave your dog unattended in a car;
- Don’t share your dog’s personal details with strangers;
- Register your dog on www.doglost.co.uk and hopefully you will never need to activate your account. Be sure to install the doglost app if you have an android phone or tablet; and
- Ensure your dog is micro-chipped, it will not prevent a theft but it may increase the chances of getting your pet back.
The website also gives some useful information on what to do if your dog is stolen and even has posters that they are encouraging people to disseminate locally to highlight this issue.
For more information visit: www.pettheft.co.uk
Pet Theft Awareness can also be followed on Facebook.