Keep your dog safe from thieves

With a huge rise in the number of reported dog thefts across the country in the last few months as demand skyrockets following the Covid-19 lockdowns, dog owners are being urged to take care. This topic will be covered extensively in The Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre this July.

As we finally head towards an air of normality, it has been pointed out by many organisations that dogs must be ready for the countryside.

Keeping dogs on leads is incredibly important in rural areas for the safety of livestock and dogs alike.

More recently however, it is becoming increasingly important to keep them on leads to prevent them from being taken right in front of us, which a flurry of reports of attempted (and sadly successful) dog thefts in the news recently.

From vans trailing dog walkers to stories about thieves posing as RSPCA officers to part dogs from their owners, it’s a worrying trend all-round.

The organisation DogLost estimates that half of all missing dog reports relate to working dogs, most notably Cocker and Springer Spaniels and Labradors.

It’s perhaps not surprising when you think that a working dog can cost £5,000 when fully trained, with literally thousands reported lost every shooting season.

The Countryside Alliance is just one body urging the public to be vigilant, keep a watchful eye on dogs, making sure that you’re switched on to your surroundings and who is around you, whether in a rural area or not.

If you’re suspicious of someone, put your dog back on its lead. This piece of advice also goes for gundog owners. While we take pride in the fact that a lead often doesn’t need to be used, it is handy to have one in case you need to use it, purely for the safety and security of your dog.

Information on any suspicious activity surrounding subjects like this can often be found on local groups or pages on social media sites, so keep an eye out for anything posted on online noticeboards that could be relevant to your area.

Among other advice on its Rural Crime Hub is:

  • Never leave your dog unattended.
  • If you are in a pub or public space, never bast about you dog. You don’t know who is listening.
  • If you have to keep your dog in a car for any period of time, ensure it remains locked.
  • Use tinted windows to obscure the view into your vehicle, especially from the rear.
  • Review your home and/or kennel security.
  • Install remote access CCTV cameras and security lighting at home or on outbuildings and kennels.
  • Sign up to local neighbourhood watch schemes.
  • Note down registration numbers and descriptions of suspicious looking vehicles.

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