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38% Of Missing Dogs Actually Stolen
Sadly, 60 per cent of these might never be found.
In spite of these figures, many dogs are still left tied up outside shops, or in unattended vehicles where they are easily stolen.
Once stolen, a dog can be moved many miles in a short space of time so prevention is vital.
While pedigree pets are at the greatest risk due to the cost of purchasing pedigree puppies, non-pedigree dogs can also be at risk as thieves wait for a reward to be offered.
Essex Police has issued advice about keeping your pet safe, including being careful leaving them tied up outside a shop or in a car where they can be easily taken.
Ensuring that your dog is microchipped with up-to-date contact details is also important, as well as putting a tag on the dog’s collar with a name and address - a legal requirement when in public - but not including the dog’s name.
Take clear photos of your dog from all angles and keep a list of distinguishing features and also take photos of you and your dog to prove ownership.
Never let your dog off a lead if you are unsure whether it will come back and only use a reputable company or kennels when you go away. Always keep your dog in view.
If your dog is missing or stolen:
1. Report it to the police and make sure you ask for a Crime Reference Number.
2. Report it to your Local Authority’s Dog Warden service.
3. If your dog is microchipped, report it to one of the 5 databases which are: Petlog, Anibase, PETtrac, PetProtect and SmartChip. If your dog is tattooed, report it to the National Dog Tattoo Register.
4. Check with your local branch of the RSPCA, as well as local animal rescue centres.
5. Inform your vets and inform as many local practices as you can.
6. Get online – there are a number of search and rescue sites which may be able to help.
7. Check with your local community – neighbours, postal workers, shops, post offices, and other businesses.
8. Hand out flyers/posters in your local area – someone may have seen something.
9. Don’t be afraid to approach the local media – newspapers, radio stations and even television could help to publicise your missing dog.
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