Police officers issue warning after increase in puppy thefts
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Police officers from Northamptonshire Police’s Burglary Team are issuing a warning to dog owners after an increase in puppy thefts across the county.
In recent weeks, the Force has seen an increase in calls from dog breeders who have had their puppies stolen from them.
The majority of these incidents have taken place when the offender/s have come to view the puppies, which have been listed for sale. They then distract the owners before stealing the puppies.
Detective Sergeant Terry Rush from the Force’s Burglary Team, said: “This increase in puppy thefts is a trend we are a seeing across the whole country as the Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the value of puppies and they are therefore more desirable to thieves.
“If you are a dog breeder actively selling puppies, please be vigilant as to who has enquired to buy them. Dog owners in general are also advised to read our crime prevention tips below to ensure they do not have their family members stolen from them.”
Protect your dog from thieves
- Ensure your pet is microchipped and registered with up to date information.
- Invest in a collar and name tag, and use your surname rather than your pet’s name on name tags. Make sure to include your telephone number so you can be easily contacted if your pet is found. Your dog should always wear a collar and ID tag as this is a legal requirement when your dog is in a public place.
- Taking plenty of clear photos of your pet and remember to include any distinctive markings that could identify them.
- Not leaving your dog unattended in the garden, the car or outside shops if at all possible.
- Review your social media security settings, and be careful with the details you share, especially when it comes to your pets, your location or your favourite walking spots.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and know where your dog is at all times when out walking. Be mindful of anyone trying to distract you or draw your dog’s attention away from you. If you feel that someone is following or watching you and your dog in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, move away from them and call police.
- We know that some dogs may live in kennels outside. Please ensure you make it as hard as possible for some to break in. Use multiple locks and have CCTV cameras covering the kennel as a deterrent.
- Ensure all gates are locked at top and bottom with a shoot bolt and padlock.
- Ensure gardens and yards are secure so that no one can gain entry or pull your dog out. Make sure fences and hedges are secure, with no gaps that a dog can squeeze through.
- Consider driveway alarms and CCTV – these can act as a visual as well as a physical deterrent.