This information was passed onto me by a fellow dog owner wishing to raise the awareness of dog theft and missing dogs.
Please take time to read it, tell a friend or pass it on…. Thank you.
Please consider the following:
Is my dog likely to be stolen or go missing?
If you protect your dog you would think not, BUT sadly this is not always the case. Dog theft is increasing, an estimated 50,000 are stolen annually, it is a quick money earner for the unscrupulous who may say they ”found” your dog or blatantly demand money for it’s safe return. No dog is exempt as they target pedigrees/cross breeds, young/old and healthy/ill. They know the dog means a lot to you and will expect you to pay. Sometimes dogs are taken just because someone fancies owning a particular dog – the fact that it belongs to someone else doesn’t matter to them.
Can I protect my dog?
Make sure your dog wears a collar and ID (this is a legal requirement). Get your dog micro chipped, it’s quick, permanent and usually the dog hardly notices its insertion. Consider having your dog’s ear tattooed. It’s easily visible and a deterrent. If your pet is “chipped” or tattooed KEEP DETAILS UP TO DATE dogs sometimes fail to get reunited due to incorrect details. Make sure you have clear recent photos of your dog, from all angles and make notes of any distinguishing features. Tip: Think how would I describe my dog to someone who hasn’t seen it?
I look after my dog how could anyone possibly steal it?
Never leave dogs outside shops – an easy target
Don’t leave your dog in a car (even if locked) – dogs are taken from or with Vehicles.
Don’t allow your dog to run out of sight – dogs can be enticed away and taken.
Never just let your dog on the street alone – that is irresponsible and asking for trouble.
Make sure your garden is secure; dogs are stolen from gardens. Bolt and lock the gate. Make sure you can see/hear if anyone attempts to come into your garden and don’t leave dogs un-attended in them.
My dog is missing – what can I do?
Do a quick check in case the dog is hiding or shut in. If you believe it has been stolen, call the Police. Make sure you get a CRIME number (not an incident number as they are not the same thing, a crime means action should be taken not just logged) Call the local dog warden (number usually under your local council). Contact Doglost 0844 800 3220, www.doglost.co.uk. Even if you do not use a computer/internet they will help and advice, create and help distribute posters and involve their national network of helpers to help you. Inform any breed specific rescue you can find. Call ALL pounds and kennels. Leave your
details. Knock on doors and ask around locally. Put up posters at Vets, training classes, pet shops, walking areas, lampposts, anywhere and everywhere. Speak to dog walkers, people on the street (and get help to do this). Tell the microchip company / tattoo register that the dog is missing ( or stolen) and make sure they make record this fact. You should also find other lost/found dog sites on the internet and get details there.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW – Good and Bad
Sadly, found dogs are not always scanned for a microchip by rescue centres, pounds, police or Vets – stating on its collar that the dog is chipped will help there but remember collars of stolen dogs are usually removed. There is a small chance that chips may migrate or stop working –it’s a good idea to get your Vet to check the chip at booster time and /or consider other identification.
It is NOT the responsibility of anyone finding the dog to locate you and reunite the dog – the onus to find the dog rests on the owner, although reputable places and honest people would try to reunite dogs with owners.
Found dogs are taken to a holding pound, which might be nowhere near where they were found – This could be 50 -150 miles away. When looking for your dog contact places in a very wide area.
Dogs are still often destroyed after 7 clear days in kennels/pounds – and it doesn’t matter if they are pedigrees or not, young or old, in perfect health or not. Even if not destroyed they could be re-homed so act quickly.
If there is a dog in care even remotely matching the description of your missing dog check it out yourself or by someone who knows your dog or by photo. There are a number of pedigree breeds that could be mistaken for a mixed breed. Sometimes dogs are listed as bitches or vice-versa! The dog’s age may also be incorrectly estimated.
Some helpful lost dog websites.
www.doglost.co.uk – a website with a national network of helpers dedicated to helping reuniting owners with their missing dogs. Holds a massive database of missing, found and reunited dogs & gives invaluable advice, help and support.
www.dogtheftaction.com – Working and campaigning to make dog theft a crime of the past. Hosts a forum supporting and helping owners and various organisations to reunite missing dogs.
www.dogpages.org.uk – A mine of information including lost and found section, rehoming, advice and forums.
www.lostlabs.com – What it says – helping to unite lost and stolen Labradors with their owners. Hosts a forum with advice and support
www.alfieslostterriers.com – a site for all missing/found dogs. Good support and advice.
www.lost-doggies.co.uk – Lost or found a pet in the UK? Advertise it here.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of websites. There are many more out there. Search the breed specific websites too.
I am a person who loves my dogs and wants the best for them. I am one of many Doglost helpers and through the Holidays 4 Dogs National network of Approved carers and dog owners feel we could all help and support the plight of lost dogs.
Perhaps reading this has made you aware of some things that you did not know in which case I have done what I set out to do. Since I was handed this information produced by a lady called Val as a personal self-funded project of hers it has certainly raised my awareness to the plight of lost dogs and I hope has done so for you too. I thank you for reading it and thank you Val wherever you are for putting this together.
Claire Rhodes (Director and Owner – Holidays 4 Dogs)
Please note – ALL Holidays 4 Dogs guests are in our care under the strictest of security. ALL necessary precautions are taken including constant supervision of dogs in gardens, locked and secure carer gardens & always watched in the garden (NEVER left un attended), dogs not being allowed out in cars without