Inspector Nicola Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Team, said: ‘Concerns have increased around dog thefts during lockdown as the demand for pets has grown.
‘Whilst thefts in Hertfordshire have remained relatively low, across the country there have been growing concerns over the theft of dogs from homes and breeders’ kennels. Dog owners should join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch to get all the latest alerts and crime prevention advice: www.owl.co.uk/herts
‘There are simple steps you can take to keep your pet safe, such as never leaving your dog unattended when out and making areas at home your dog can access secure.’:
- Ensure your dog is microchipped and registered with up to date information and has a collar and dog tag (use your surname rather than the dog’s name and your telephone contact details).
- Neutering your pet might ensure they don’t get targeted for breeding purposes, consider adding an ‘I am neutered” tag to their collar.
- Take plenty of clear photographs of your pet and especially of any distinctive markings.
- When walking your pet, try different routes and keep your pet in sight at all times.
- Never leave a dog unattended in the garden, in the car or outside shops.
- Don’t give details of your pets, your location or your favourite walking spots on social media and make sure your security settings are set to friends only.
- When out, always know where your dog is. Be mindful of anyone who may be trying to distract your attention from your dog or attract your dog’s attention away from you.
- If your dog is stolen, report to Police on 101 and to your local authority dog warden if you have one in your area. Notify your microchip database provider immediately and advise Doglost.co.uk or via their Facebook page.