More than three-quarters of owners worried about 'dognapping' risk
26th April, 2021
Dog owners are increasingly fearful over their pets’ safety after a rise in dog theft.
With demand for pets at an all-time high during the pandemic, dogs have become a target for criminals. DogLost, a UK charity that helps victims of dog theft, recorded a 170% increase in the crime last year, from 172 dogs reported stolen in 2019 to 465 dogs in 2020.
More than three-quarters of dog owners are now worried about the risk of their dog being stolen while out for a walk, according to a survey by the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner in partnership with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
The online survey in February and March this year found that 79% of owners have grown more worried about taking their dog for a walk during the day, while 83% said the same for dog walks at night.
To help keep your beloved pet safe from dognappers, it’s best to avoid repeating the same routes when going out for a walk. And with Covid regulations allowing meeting outdoors, you could take walks with other owners, DogLost’s senior police liaison coordinator Wayne May told The Independent.
May also advises planning your time carefully so that you don’t need to go to the shops when your dog is with you. The risk of theft increases if your dog is left alone outside the store or in your car.
You should also make sure your dog is microchipped and the details kept up-to-date, secure your garden, and when you’re out on a walk don’t let your dog stray too far away, the RSPCA recommends.
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