Pet Theft Awareness Week - Keeping Your Furry Friend Safe

This week (14th - 21st March), marks pet theft awareness week in the UK. Pet abduction is every pet owner’s greatest fear. Whilst thinking about the possibility of your beloved furry family member being stolen is horrible, there are precautions to take to help keep your pooch safe and sound, this blog explores.


What Is Pet Theft Awareness Week?

Pet Theft Awareness Week is an annually recognised event organised by the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance (SAMPA) that aims to educate and alert pet owners on pet theft.


The Facts

It is thought that around 2,000 dogs are stolen each year in the UK. However, according to a private agency ‘The Pet Detectives’ statistics are much greater than we may think, with them reporting that as many as 12 go missing per day. Pretty shocking right? But why?


Since the March 2020 lockdown, there has been a surge in pet thefts (particularly dogs) as the cost for a furry friend has increased. Dog Lost (one of the largest lost and found services in the UK), reported that across England and Wales there has been a 3.5% increase in reported pet thefts. This combined with the rise in popularity of ‘designer breeds’ and ease of cross-breeding are all factors that have contributed to the increase in these crime rates.


So let's look at the facts…


Preventative Measures

So what preventative measures can you take? We suggest:

  • Make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date with the relevant information.

  • Use a collar with an engraved ID tag with your name, address and phone number on it.

  • Avoid leaving your dog outside a shop.

  • Ensure your garden is secure.

  • Don’t leave dogs unattended in a car.

  • Use a cat tracker - this helps you see the last known location, even if the thief removes it.

  • Practice recall of dogs and use an extendable lead if the recall is poor.

  • Be wary of who can see pictures of your pet on social media (and your tagged location).

  • Neuter pets to avoid roaming and the option for the thief to use your pet to breed.

  • Keep information on your mobile, such as your pet’s microchip number, and a clear picture of your pet with any distinguishing markings.


What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Taken?

If you have seen your pet has been taken, the first protocol is to call the police. If you suspect your dog has been stolen, or you suspect suspicious activity, call 101 immediately.


Once you have reported your stolen pet, call your dog's microchip database (for updates and to ensure no one else can change your details), contact the local animal warden, local veterinary practices and rescue centres, and register on DogLost.co.uk. Lastly, spread the word on social media.


Pet theft is a scary thought, however, taking preventative measures and staying alert can help keep your pet safe!


Contact us on 02084594729 today to check your pet's microchip details are up to date.

Order Dr Hannah Parkin's Amazing Guide To Caring For Your New Puppy.
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