Dog theft! Keeping your dog safe.
We have all heard the reports about the scary attempts to steal or those successful abductions of our beloved family members. This is obviously a worrying and heartbreaking situation that we all want to avoid so we at ScenterBarks have put our top tips together to help you feel more confident when taking your dog out for an enjoyable walk.
It’s worth pointing out that recently Hampshire constabulary have put out that they have had very few reports of attempted thefts or actual dog thefts in our area. Please ensure that if you experience anything suspicious that you are calling 101 and reporting this to them.
Prevention is better than cure!
As always, this top saying is a must! By this we don’t mean hide away in your house!! Just be aware of the small things you can do to keep away from unscrupulous dog theifs!
Keep your dog in your sight when outside. Don’t leave them alone in your garden or tied up outside shops or schools. These are easy pickings and it takes a mere seconds for someone to take your dog in this situation. Don’t give them the opportunity!
Be careful of what you post publicly on social media regarding your dog. Don’t give too many details about the dog with the locations you walk them, especially if you do walk at similar places regularly and be careful you don’t give your home location away.
Firstly and most importantly – ensure your dog is microchipped (it is the law to have them microchipped) and make sure your contact details are always kept up to date!
We are all in different situations when it comes to our dogs. Some dogs are walked on lead, some are walked off. It’s important to consider your dogs character when you consider how likely it is that your dog could be stolen and taking appropriate action.
For example, an overly friendly dog who loves to run up and say hi to everyone puts that dog at risk. If they are a foodie and will go off with anyone who has food is another example of a dog that may need to be watched more, kept on lead or have their recall strengthened before being let off at this time.
A lot of the recent reports are sadly attempts to steal a dog while on their walks. There are some things you can do to help yourself be prepared for any potentially suspicious activity.
- Ensure you walk in different places and at different times of day. To be on the safe sign, a varied routine will make you less easier to find should anyone have their eye on your dog. SB always vary our walking locations, route etc.
- Stay vigilant! Avoid chatting on your phone etc as it causes a distraction.
- Be aware of your surrounding, know where you are and where you can escape to! For example, we know the woods like the back of our hands and probably walk in places in could never find to ensure no one sees us!
- If you’re walking your dog on lead, keep your lead in your non-dominant hand so that you have your strong hand available should you need to use it!
What to carry
- Defence spray or aerosol
- A body camera
- A fully charged phone!
- Whistle or alarm
Know the law!
Make sure whatever you carry isn’t classified as a weapon by law! Do your research.
If you are attacked you are allowed to defence yourself with “reasonable force” but that doesn’t mean you can attack anyone who may just happen to be walking the same way as you!
What about others looking after your dog?
If you have someone else caring for your dog, it's certanly worth checking with your dog care provider that they aware of all of this and what protocols they have in place.
For example, ScenterBarks dog daycare centre is locked and nobody is able to enter the building without a staff member answering the door while our dog walking team are trained to avoid people and we never post where we walk and walk at different times and places each day.
To find out more about these services - call our team today on 01962 714 283