Top tips to keep your dog safe from thieves

Following a spate of press reports about dog-napping, Battersea has issued advice for owners to help them keep their dog safe

01 March 2013

In 2012 Battersea’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line received 2,304 reports about dogs who had been lost, and many of the callers spoke to Lost & Found Assistant Carly Cole. She explains: “Losing a dog is devastating for owners, especially if they are worried that their dog has been stolen. However there are few simple steps owners can take to reduce the chances of their dog being stolen.”

Carly advises the following to keep your pet safe:

  • Many thefts happen because dogs have been tied up outside a shop. Never leave your dog on its own outside, even for a few seconds, as it is very easy for a thief to unclip his lead and walk away.  If you have to leave your dog outside, make sure they are with someone you trust.
  • Battersea has received reports of unattended dogs being stolen from their gardens, sometimes when the owner has been out at work. Keep your dog safe by ensuring he is kept inside when you are not there, and ask a trusted neighbour or friend to take him for a walk, or consider employing a dog walker.
  • There have been cases where owners walking their dog have been approached by someone enquiring about their dog’s breed, age and name, and the dog has gone missing the following day during their regular walk. Owners have been concerned the dog was lured away, and some have explained they were in heavily wooded areas where they had a set walking routine. Battersea would advise taking caution when giving strangers information about your dog, and if possible vary your walking route if you are concerned.
  • Battersea encourages all owners to neuter their dogs, and this can help reduce the chance of your dog being stolen, as some thieves hope to financially gain by breeding dogs.
  • Ensure your dog has a tag on his collar detailing your contact details. Consider adding that he is neutered and microchipped. Adding that he is on medication could may also help deter a thief.
  • By giving your dog a collar and tag and a microchip you are giving him the best chance of being reunited with you if he was lost or dumped by a thief. Ensure your contact details are kept up to date on his tag and with your microchip provider.

If you are in the difficult situation of losing your dog or cat, you can find out what to do here


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