How to Prevent Your Pet from Being Stolen
It is a terrible thought isn’t it? Your beloved pet being snatched by a thief and disappearing never to be seen again. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous people out there who will take advantage of any money making opportunity that presents itself. Your pet could represent such an opportunity.
The latest figures suggest that pet thefts are on the rise in the UK. Indeed, the available statistics from the Metropolitan Police tell us that thefts have increased by as much as 27% in London over the past four years. 283 pets were reported stolen by owners in the capital between 2015 and 2016.
Pets can be stolen from just about anywhere if left unattended and it looks like dog walkers are being targeted by organised gangs. There is a huge demand on the black market for designer type pets. The sorts of animals owned by celebrities. Thefts of toy dogs like pugs, Chihuahuas and bichon frises are becoming all too common.
It is vital that you take the appropriate measures to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of pet theft. Here’s what you can do to reduce the chances of tragedy striking your home:
- Get all of your pets microchipped. Well, perhaps not your hamsters! This will make them difficult to sell on if they are stolen. When thieves discover a microchip they are more likely to dump the animal. That isn’t great news but it would mean that there is a better chance of your pet being recovered. If your pet is found, the information on the chip will lead the authorities straight to you but you must keep the microchip database informed of any changes of address.
- If you own a dog, then train it to come to you when commanded and don’t let it run off out of your site at any time. It only takes a second to snatch a dog.
- Never leave your dog unattended outside a shop or other premises where it will be out of your sight.
- If you plan to use a cattery or boarding kennel, make a freedom of information request to the local authority. Ask for details of any complaints about the establishment. Not all businesses are as honest or secure as they might appear to be.
- Neutered pets are less appealing to thieves who are looking for animals to breed from. Unless you wish to breed from your pets yourself, get them neutered at the earliest opportunity.
- Be wary of any strangers who show an unusual interest in any of your pets. They may be totally innocent but it always pays to be on your guard. If you are suspicious of someone and think that they might be planning to snatch your dog, then make life more difficult for them by varying the time of your walks.
- If your property has a side or rear gate, make sure that you always keep it locked.
- Make sure that you have clear photographs of your pet and yourself together. These will help if you need to prove that an animal is yours.
It is terrible that you have to be concerned about your pet being stolen and that you need to be suspicious of strangers in the park. But unfortunately you do. If you remain vigilant and don’t leave your pets unattended then you will minimise the chances of them being stolen. This is more difficult in the case of free roaming cats but these pets should at least be microchipped.