TIM DREW: Tips to keep your dog safe as thefts rise

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Dog theft is on the rise, so Neighbourhood Watch and Dogs Trust are urging us to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

Last year, nearly 1,800 instances of dog theft were reported to police forces across England and Wales with gardens, closely followed by the home, identified as the most common areas from which dogs were reported stolen.

The commonest breeds of dog stolen were Staffordshire bull terriers, followed by Jack Russells, Chihuahuas and bulldogs.

But Dogs Trust warns that any dog, irrespective of breed, is at risk of theft if left unsupervised and advises as follows to prevent this from happening:

• Secure your garden so as to avoid your dog escaping and to prevent easy access by trespassers.

• Always keep your dog in sight on walks and in your garden and make sure that it is trained to respond to a recall command.

• Never leave a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car. It is worth checking whether dogs are allowed inside a shop or café.

• Ensure that your dog is microchipped, has up-to-date contact details, and is wearing a tag with your name, phone number and address on it (all of these are legal requirements).

• Have your dog spayed or neutered – it will be less likely to stray as a result.

• If you plan to use services such as dog walking, grooming, house sitting or a boarding kennel, do your research to ensure you are using a legitimate and reputable service.

• Never advertise the fact that you own dogs. Avoid placing dog ownership placards or notices outside your property.

The Lancing Community Panel meets at 7pm on Monday (September 4) at the Parish Hall, South Hall, 96 South Street, Lancing, and the Offington Neighbourhood Panel meets at 10am on Thursday (September 7) at the Thomas A Becket PHS in Rectory Road, Worthing.


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