Some tips and advice to hopefully avoid your dog being lost or stolen. While it is important that you relax and have fun with your dog, please be aware of the dangers from theft:


1. Dogs have been stolen from cars parked in supermarket car parks. Do not leave your dogs alone in a car anywhere.

2. Do not leave your dog tied up outside shops etc. A lot of dogs have been stolen from outside shops - one theft was recently averted by kind people staying with a dog and challenging someone who was trying to take it. The confrontation was unpleasant as the scruffy looking lad was adamant that the dog (calling him "he") belonged to him, when the rescuers had noted that it was a bitch! They held him off until someone went inside the store and brought out security officers and he ran off. Your dog may not be so lucky!

3. Do not leave your dog unattended in the garden, they have been stolen from gardens even while the owners were in the house.

4. Make sure your garden is dog proof, especially after a storm and lock all gates into the garden. Sometimes when people think their dogs have been stolen, they may have simply escaped.

5. Be careful who you talk to about your dog, for example, if you go to dog shows, game fairs, and any event aimed at dogs, you may be giving a potential thief all the information they need to steal your dog.

6. When you are walking your dog, consider changing your time and route, and always keep an eye on your dog, do not let it out of your sight, particularly if you have more than one dog, the routine of thieves is that one will keep you talking while the other will take your dog when it is out of your sight.

7. Do be careful of walking in isolated spots. Aggressive thieves will literally take your dog from you. Carry a mobile phone with you at all times.

8. Check your fencing/gateposts, if you see a mark that was not there before, be extra vigilant, rumour has it that different colours mean different uses for the dog.

9. If you see anything suspicious then please keep a written record, type of car, colour, registration number, description of people; all of this can help to connect these thieves to other areas.

10. If you do lose your dog then please report it to your local Dog Warden (Council). Also check with the Street Scene teams as not all Councils keep a record of any dogs involved in road accidents that they remove from the roads; they are just disposed of and not necessarily checked for microchips. At least if they know you have lost your dog, if in the tragic event it has been involved in a road accident then they can contact you.

11. If your dog is microchipped or has a tattoo, make sure your contact details are up to date with the company who stores the records. Recently, there have been a lot of dogs found who were microchipped, but either there are NO records of the owner registered with the microchip company, or the person has moved and not advised the company of their new address and phone number, both of which making the microchip useless. If your dog is microchipped or has a tattoo, check with the company NOW to ensure your details are held by them. While a finder can see a tattoo, they cannot know he is microchipped, so you could consider having a separate tag for his collar, saying "I am microchipped!".

12. By law, your dog should have a tag on his collar while he is off your property, with your name and address and telephone number. See:

Consider including your mobile number on this tag as well as your home number, as if you are out looking for your lost dog, your mobile number will mean anyone finding him can contact you.

13. There are some good ideas about what you can do in the event of your dog being lost or stolen, on the Doglost website at

14. You can also pre-register your dog/s with Doglost, storing photos and other information with them, so that in the sad event that your dog goes missing, you already have information ready to be posted on their site.

 15. You can also join Doglost (free), so they send you details of any dogs lost in your area, should you wish to help by printing off and putting up posters of them.

16. HOLIDAYS If you are taking your dog on holiday with you, or leaving him with others, or in a boarding kennels, consider having a 2nd disc made for his collar with contact details (name, address, phone numbers) of where he is staying during the holiday time.

Consider some form of permanent identification, so if found, your dog can be reunited with you. Some dogs recently have been returned to their owners months or years after they were lost/stolen, owing to their identification.

18. NEVER ADVERTISE YOUR DOG AS FREE TO A GOOD HOME ON WEBSITES WHICH SELL GOODS! People who come to take your dog are sometimes looking for dogs to breed from, resell, or to use as bait for dog fighting rings.

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