The Importance of Awareness
As a woman who owns and trains her own gundog, you likely have a deep emotional bond with your canine companion. That’s why it’s important to be aware that March 14-21 is Pet Theft Awareness week, as dog theft is unfortunately on the rise in the UK.
Direct Line Insurance reported that in 2021, the number of dogs stolen in the UK reached a seven-year high, with 2,760 dogs reported as stolen across the country – that’s equivalent to 53 dogs stolen every week, nearly eight every day. As a responsible dog owner, there are steps you can take to prevent dog theft and increase the chance of being reunited with your beloved pet if they are ever stolen:
Invest in DNA profiling
DNA profiling is a highly reliable way to identify your dog and prove ownership. The DNA Protected kit from Cellmark Forensic Services is an affordable crime prevention initiative that includes a mouth swab and registration on a forensic dog DNA database for up to 10 years.
By taking this step, you can provide evidence that your dog belongs to you if it is ever stolen and then recovered. DNA profiling can also assist authorities in prosecuting the perpetrators of dog theft. It’s a small investment that could make a huge difference in the unfortunate event of a theft.
Microchip your dog
While microchips are a legal requirement for dogs, it’s important to ensure that your details are up to date with your microchip provider. Microchipping can fail or be removed by thieves, so it’s important to have other forms of identification in place as well.
Microchips provide a unique identification number for your dog, which can be scanned by vets and authorities to access your contact information. If your dog is stolen and then found, microchipping can help reunite you with your furry friend. However, microchips on their own are not always enough, which is why additional forms of identification are necessary.
Use visible deterrents
Showing that your dog is protected can deter potential thieves. The DNA Protected kit also includes a branded collar tag and window sticker, and high visibility leads and collars are also available.
Visible deterrents can signal to thieves that your dog is protected and that stealing it will not be easy. A branded collar tag and window sticker can show that your dog is part of a DNA database, and high-visibility leads and collars can make your dog more noticeable and less vulnerable to theft. These visible deterrents can be effective in preventing theft altogether.
Be aware of your surroundings
Stay alert when walking your dog in public places, especially in areas with high dog theft rates. Keep your dog on a leash and in sight at all times.
Being vigilant when out and about with your dog is important, particularly in areas where dog theft is known to occur. Keeping your dog on a leash and within your sight can help deter potential thieves and prevent your dog from wandering off. It’s also a good idea to avoid unlit or isolated areas and to vary your walking routine to avoid being predictable.
Train your dog to come when called
A well-trained dog that responds to recall commands can prevent them from straying too far from you or potentially being stolen.
Training your dog to come when called can be a valuable tool in preventing your dog from wandering too far and getting lost or stolen. A well-trained dog that responds to recall commands can be less vulnerable to theft, as it can be quickly retrieved if a thief attempts to snatch it. It’s important to practice recall commands regularly to reinforce your dog’s training.
Don’t leave your dog unattended
Leaving your dog unattended in public places can make them an easy target for thieves. Leaving your dog unattended, even for a brief moment, can make it an easy target for dog thieves. It’s important to always keep your dog in your sight and within your control. If you need to step away for a moment, consider bringing a trusted friend or family member to watch over your dog. If that’s not possible, find a secure location to leave your dog, such as a locked crate or a designated dog parking area. Additionally, never leave your dog unattended in a car, even for a short period of time. Not only is it dangerous for your dog’s health, but it also puts them at risk of being stolen. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your beloved gundog from potential theft.
Reporting Suspicious Activity: Taking Action to Protect Your Pet
Reporting suspicious activity is a crucial step in preventing dog theft and protecting your beloved pet. If you witness any suspicious behaviour, such as someone attempting to lure your dog away or taking photos of them without permission, report it to the authorities immediately. Be sure to provide as much information as possible, including a detailed description of the individual or individuals involved, the location of the incident, and any other relevant details. Reporting suspicious activity not only helps protect your own pet but also contributes to the safety of other dogs in the community. By taking action and speaking up, you can play a role in preventing pet theft and keeping your canine companion safe.
Protecting Your Gundog During Pet Theft Awareness Week and Beyond
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