What Should I Do if My Dog Is Lost or Stolen?


Keeping your dog safe - Top Tips: 

There are sensible precautions you can take to reduce your dog’s risk of being stolen:

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- Do not leave your dog tied up outside a shop. You will make them an easy target for opportunist thieves.

- Avoid leaving your dog alone in the car, even for a few minutes.

- Make sure your dog is microchipped and that you keep your contact details up-to-date, especially if you move house or change your telephone number.

- Make sure your dog wears a collar and ID tag with your name and address on it. This is a legal requirement when your dog is in a public place. Avoid putting your dog’s name on the disc though as that can make it easy to for thieves to lure your dog away using their name.

- Take good photographs of your dog from various angles, and update them regularly. Make a note of any distinguishing features.

- Have lots of photographs of yourself with your dog, to help you to prove ownership if needed.

- Train your dog to come back when called, and never let him off the lead
if you are not sure he will come back to you. If in doubt, use an extending lead, especially if you are in an unfamiliar area where your dog may get lost more easily.

- Take care when choosing someone to care for your dog if you are going away from home or need a dog walker whilst you go to work. Use a reputable company or boarding kennels and
check references for people who provide dog or house-sitting services and ask to see their insurance policy.

- Beware of strangers asking you questions about your dog. Most enquiries are benign but be on guard at all times.

- Vary your times of walks and routes; some dogs are actually targeted and snatched during walks.

- At home, make sure your garden is secure. Check gates and boundary fences. Small dogs can escape under fences and gates.

- Keep your dog in view in the garden, don’t just leave him outside unsupervised.

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If your dog is lost or suspected stolen, it is important to act quickly and decisively

- Report the loss to your local council’s Dog Warden and those in all other neighbouring local authorities. Go online and find the number.

- Visit places where dog walkers go such as local parks and public places and talk to people, asking them to keep an eye open for your dog.

- If you believe your pet has been stolen, report it to the police and insist it is recorded as a theft and not a lost animal.

- Report the loss/theft to the microchip database, this will ensure that if anyone tries to re-register the chip number, you will be informed.

- Make posters and display them in areas local to your home and also in relevant places such as vets, local parks etc. The poster should include a clear photograph and details of the circumstances.

- Make sure local vets are aware in case someone takes your dog in for treatment.

- Report the loss on as many as possible of the missing animal websites – there is no single national missing animals database, so you will have to place the same information on all of them to ensure a widespread appeal.

- Use social media to spread the word of your dog’s disappearance – start by contacting @MissingPetsGB and @LostboxUK, and Dogs Lost

- Contact local animal shelters and rescue charities and send them posters to display.


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