Getting burgled is never a pleasant experience, regardless of whether something valuable is stolen or not. There are plenty of items in your home that a robber may be interested in; we now invest large sums on money in fancy electronics, jewellery and luxury products for our homes. However, we often overlook one of the biggest investments we make to our home lives when we think of burglary; our pets. We love our pets as members of our family and don’t consider the sinister reality that burglars are targeting them, with dog theft being the most common form of pet kidnapping in the UK.
Dog Theft Continues To Rise in the UK
The number of dogs being stolen from backyards, houses and properties in the UK is continuing to rise. Dog theft is becoming a more and more common problem, with numbers exceeding 1,900 dogs per year, leaving many dog owners wondering what measures they can take to protect their beloved family pet from dog kidnapping. Some breeds of dog are stolen because they are expensive luxury breeds and can be sold on for a profit. However, there are many dog breeds that are stolen because, unfortunately, they are considered ideal candidates for vicious dog fighting rings.
How Does Dog Theft Get Reported?
We can’t be sure why dog theft is becoming more common in the UK, but it is clear that the law isn’t particularly tough on the crime. Beloved pets that get stolen are usually treated in the same way as a stolen phone or bike, and most police forces don’t differentiate dog theft as anything other than common robbery, regardless of the emotional impact it has on the lives of people. While dog theft is considered a criminal offence and carries a prison sentence, maximum penalties for the convicted often aren’t enforced. As a result, a caution or a fine is the likely outcome for dog theft and this lenient punishment is unlikely to be deterring the crime.
Most Stolen Dog Breeds
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Jack Russell
- French Bulldog
- Springer Spaniel
- Cocker Spaniel
3 Tips: How To Prevent Dog Theft
There’s no way to know when a burglar will attempt dog theft, which is why it’s important to take preventative measures wherever possible to tackle the problem. Many cases of dog theft are opportunistic, so here are our recommendations for how to prevent your dog from being stolen.
1. Be Responsible
Some preventative measures include the mandatory practice of getting your dog microchipped so they are identifiable on the government database. Making sure your dog has a collar with your name and address on is also a good measure that all dog owners should follow. It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving your dog alone in an exposed place where they can be taken easily. This includes outside shops or in the neighbourhood but also includes your back garden.
2. Invest In Security
52% of dog theft is a result of someone stealing a dog from a back garden and 19% is the result of someone breaking and entering into your home. Many people invest in security equipment for their home but don’t consider garden security when they protect their home. Consider investing in some security fencing, lights, CCTV cameras or remote sensor intruder alarms to deter burglars away from your property.
3. Be Vigilant
If you walk your dog in a regular pattern, consider alternating your routine to avoid becoming predictable. 16% of dogs are snatched whilst on a walk, and while some of these incidents will be opportunistic in nature, it’s still a good idea to prevent potential thieves from being able to track your routine easily. Invest in a personal alarm that will draw attention in the event of an opportunistic thief snatching your dog and walk your dog in busy areas where you can be seen by the public.
Contact Matrix Fire & Security Services
Security systems are a cost-effective deterrent to dog theft. They are easy to install and maintain and can be tailored to your needs. To find out more about different security systems you can have installed in your home and garden, get in touch with the team at Matrix Fire & Security. Give us a call on 01296 614 440 or fill out our online contact form and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.