Police issue advice after increase of dog thefts in Bedfordshire

A list of all licensed breeders is available on your local authority’s website

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 12:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 12:55 pm

Police are issuing advice to dog owners following an increase of dog thefts in Bedfordshire.

After the nation went into lockdown following the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the demand for puppies increased dramatically, which in turn increased puppy prices and has sadly resulted in criminals stealing dogs for profit.

Bedfordshire Police is working with police forces across the eastern region, UK Pet Detectives, DogLost and Pets4Homes to tackle this type of criminality.

Police

A spokesperson for the force said: "We would like to ask all dog lovers to help us spread our safety message in order to prevent much loved pets being targeted by criminals.

"To discourage offenders please don’t buy dogs from social media sites or from anyone who cannot provide appropriate documentation.

"Before purchasing your dog make sure you check the proof of ownership, health check and pedigree papers. Additionally, ask to see the puppy in their home environment with their mother."

To minimise the chance of becoming a victim yourself, Bedfordshire Police is offering the following advice:

- Be vigilant and cautious of suspicious individuals or markings seen around addresses, any cold callers and strangers approaching you whilst out dog walking

- Ensure your dog is microchipped and registered with up to date information and has a collar and dog tag (use your surname rather than the dog’s name and your telephone contact)

- Take plenty of clear photographs of your pet and especially of any distinctive markings

- Never leave a dog unattended in the garden, in the car or outside shops

- Don’t give details of your pets, your location or your favourite walking spots on social media and make sure your security settings are set to friends only

- When out, always know where your dog is. Be mindful of anyone who may be trying to distract your attention from your dog or attract your dog’s attention away from you

- Avoid leaving dogs in outside kennels if at all possible. If not possible then make sure the kennels are alarmed – experience tells us padlocks alone will not stop thieves

- Ensure all gates are locked at top and bottom with a shoot bolt and padlock and consider fitting a bell or gate alarm

- Ensure the garden or yard boundary (fence, hedge, etc) is secure so that no one can gain entry or pull your dog out. Ensure the dog cannot escape through any gaps

- Consider driveway alarms to alert you to intruders and combine this with the use of monitored CCTV that will alert you via your phone or tablet instantly.

A list of all licensed breeders is available on your local authority’s website.

If your dog is stolen report it to police by visiting the force's online reporting centre or by calling 101.