VET’S VIEW: Pet-owners must be vigilant: don’t make it easy for thieves

LOCALLY, the ever-increasing theft locally of dogs, horses, and parrots means it has never been more important to be more vigilant about the security of pets and animals – and today sees the launch of the first- ever Pet Theft Awareness Week, raising awareness of the growing trend of pet theft across the country.

With a rise in dogs being stolen from outside shops, I am amazed at how many dogs I see every day, tied up or left in cars while owners are busy shopping.

Our pets are part of our families, and losing any family member is heart-breaking, so let’s not make it any easier for thieves.

Some animals are at higher risk of being taken due to their value, with people even being attacked for their pets.

Owners are also reporting being blackmailed for extortionate amounts of cash – or they’ll never see their beloved pet again.

Try not to leave your dog unattended, knowing that thieves will even grab dogs from owners on walks and take pets from gardens.

Dog owners should be wary of strangers taking an interest in their dog, and make sure dogs are kept close when out and about in large, wide-open spaces.

It is also important to keep all microchip records up to date, too.

Horse owners should ensure horse passport photos are up to date and should visit their field at irregular hours – don’t follow a routine.

Also, ensure gates are padlocked when they are not being used, and make sure tack is security marked.

If your pet has been stolen and is already microchipped, report it as soon as possible to the police and Petlog national microchip database.

Inform local vet clinics and use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, telling your friends to share and tweet, too.

Activate your dog’s chip details online at DogLost.co.uk and visit their site for help.

While microchipping won’t prevent a theft, it will increase the chances of you and your beloved pet being reunited – hopefully, having not been harmed.

If you would like more information, or to find out how you could get your pet microchipped, get in touch.

Call Grove Lodge Vets on 01903 234866.