A campaign launched by the Dogs Trust to make owners aware of an increase in dog thefts is being supported by Blaby District Council.
Residents are being reminded to ensure they remain vigilant at all times with their dogs.
Thefts commonly take place outside shops, with owners reminded not to leave their dog unattended in any public areas.
The Dogs Trust is urging residents to follow three steps to reduce the risk of theft and offer the best possible chance of being reunited with their dog if it goes missing:
SAFE – Secure your property and garden.
SPOTTABLE – Keep them in sight and trained to return.
SEARCHABLE – Know what steps to take if they go missing.
Popular breeds to take from owners include Spaniels, due to breeding; Lurchers, known to be used as working dogs, and any popular pedigree or designer breeds.
If a dog is stolen, residents are strongly advised to report the theft to both the Council and to the company holding the dog’s microchip details.
Reporting it to the microchip database will ensure details cannot be changed by anyone other than the registered keeper.
As a dog is deemed ‘property’ the theft should also be reported to the police.
Michelle Ikin, Senior Animal Services Officer at Blaby District Council, said:
“We are in full support of the Dogs Trust campaign to make people are aware of the growing issue of dog thefts. It’s also just one of the reasons why we are so keen to see every dog in the district microchipped to comply with the law.
“It is vital that you do not leave your dog tied up to go into a shop to make it easy for thieves. Any dog is at risk of being stolen, regardless of its age or breed. If a dog is taken, telling the right people as soon as possible is the best course of action.”
Celine Di Crocco, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Loughborough, said:
“It is a sad day when we have to issue these types of warnings, but with instances of dog theft becoming more prevalent, we want to ensure that dog owners are aware of the dangers so that they can keep their beloved pets safe.
“Theft of any item is distressing, but when a dog is stolen, who many consider a part of the family; the experience can be even more distressing.
We’re grateful to Blaby District Council in helping us raise awareness of dog theft to their residences and helping to keep the Family Pawtrait complete.”
Any stolen dogs can be reported to the Council by emailing or call 0116 275 7555. Information on dog thefts from the Dogs Trust can be found on http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/dogtheft