With dog ownership soaring during lockdown, and thefts of beloved pets also on the rise, we take a look at the breeds most at risk and how can you protect your pooch.
Police Scotland recorded 88 dog thefts in 2020/21, which was up from 62 in 2019/20 – these figures also include; any attempted thefts, and domestic/ownership disputes regarding the dog.
This is not evident in Glasgow, however, as the Greater Glasgow Police Division recorded only five dog theft cases in 2020/21, which is down from the nine thefts recorded in the previous year.
During the pandemic, many people found that they wanted a little furry friend to keep them company, and provide them with an incentive to get out, and get more exercise.
According to pet population figures, from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), around 3.2 million UK households expanded their families with a new pet.
In most cases, the thefts take place in and around the owners property, in the garden for example. There has also been a rise in dogs being snatched in public places, whether it be a crowded town or park area.
Amongst the many stolen, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, cross-breeds and Cocker Spaniels are just a few, that remain popular targets for pet thieves.
– Make sure that your dog is microchipped, although this won’t prevent the theft, it will mean that your pet will be assigned a unique code which will be linked to you.
– Be cautious of strangers that ask too many questions about your pet – avoid providing personal information.
– Avoid getting into a routine with the route that you take for your walks, if there is a consistent pattern, thieves can follow and plan – variety is key!
– Avoid tagging your location on social media when you’re out on walks, this will prevent thieves knowing your regular spots.
– Make your garden secure with high fences, and invest in security cameras or video doorbells.
– If possible, go for walks with a friend, this will be useful if you encounter a dognapper, as you have back up and a witness to the crime.
Dog breeds that are most likely to be stolen, and their average price tag: