Boughton Malherbe Parish Council
Dog owners are increasingly concerned about their dogs being stolen from them.
To help keep your dog safe here are some top tips on how to keep your dog SECURE, IN SIGHT AND SEARCHABLE and reduce your chances of becoming a victim of dog theft.
- Pets are easily stolen from a garden when left unattended, even if for just a few minutes. Front gardens are very vulnerable. Fit a bell or gate alarm to any rear or side gates; the gates should be secured with British Standard locks, locking bolts or closed shackle padlocks.
- Secure your garden boundary to prevent your dog from escaping or a thief from reaching in and taking your dog out.
- As well as a lock, consider fitting a bell or small alarm to outside kennels to warn you of any tampering.
- Be particularly careful of sharing or publicly posting on social media details of where you live, the type of dog you have and where you walk.
- Never leave your dog unattended in a car – especially on warm days – as it is not just dangerous for their health but allows them to be easily targeted by thieves.
- Leaving your dog alone outside a shop is another easy opportunity for a thief, even if you are only away for a minute.
- It’s important your dog will return when called; if it is not trained to do this, be very careful of allowing them off the lead, especially in unfamiliar areas. You may wish to keep them on an extending lead instead.
- Varying the times and routes you take when walking your dog.
- Be careful of strangers asking you a lot of questions when you are walking your dog – they could be distracting you to make it easy for them to steal your dog.
- If you need to use a dog walking service or kennels, make sure you check references carefully to ensure the offer is genuine or the company is trusted.
- Make sure your dog is microchipped and the details are correct on any of the recognised pet registration databases. Your dog must be microchipped by the time it is eight weeks old. For further information about the process and potential databases visit the UK government webpage on microchipping your dog.
- Fit your dog with a collar; the collar or attached tag should have a your surname and contact details - not the name of the dog.
- Make sure you take pictures of your dog from various angles, especially if they have distinctive markings or features. A further photo of you with your dog can help to prove ownership. Taking photos of your dog in various conditions can also help, such as with a groomed coat or an untidy one.
What to do if your dog is stolen
There are a number of things you should do if your dog is stolen, all of which will increase your chances of recovering them.
- Contact the police and report your dog as stolen, providing as many descriptive details as you can. Make a note of the crime reference number.
- Contact your local council to make them aware, as many still have dog warden services that encounter stray dogs.
- Contact the microchip database holding your dog’s details and update them about the theft. Should the dog be recovered and checked, it will be possible to reunite you.
- There are many websites for missing animals, so make sure you add details of your dog’s loss to these, using the photos you have taken. Include the crime reference number.
- Vets are also a good place to advertise the loss of any dog, as well as local animal rescue centres.
- Noticeboards in local parks may also allow you to place missing dog details.
Vickie Ford (Clerk)
Find Boughton Malherbe Parish Council
Rill House, The Street, Ulcombe, Boughton Malherbe, Sandway, Kent, ME17 1DR