Derbyshire named among UK dog theft blackspots as RSPCA issues advice to owners
Derbyshire has been named as one of the worst places for dog theft in the country, leading the RSPCA to recommend safety measures to pet owners.
A study of search impressions conducted by K9 Patrol showed that over the last six months, Derbyshire residents searched for terms such as ‘report dog theft’ and ‘dog stolen’ more frequently than most other English counties.
Derbyshire ranked as the fifth worst dog theft hotspot in the country, with Northamptonshire topping the list. The Chesterfield & North Derbyshire RSPCA has responded to this with advice for all dog owners in the area.
Steph McCawley, supporter engagement officer, said: “It is heartbreaking for people when a loved family pet is stolen. If there have been any reports of pets being stolen in your area, our advice would be don't panic- but it is wise to be extra careful.
“Putting a few measures in place can help prevent your pet from being stolen or becoming a target.”
Key pieces of guidance include to never leave your dog outside a shop or in a car unattended, and to train your dog to come back when called. Having a secure garden, using reputable kennels and getting dog collars engraved with your contact details were also recommended.
Mrs McCawley also said one of the most important measures in stopping dog theft was to make sure your dog has been microchipped.
“Ensure your dog is microchipped and the contact details are up to date with your microchip company’s database. This will help if the dog is found. It gives owners peace of mind and the best chance of being reunited with their dog.”
The RSPCA also issued steps to follow if you believe your dog has been stolen.
Mrs McCawley said it is crucial to report it to the police as soon as possible, and to report them as missing to the microchip database your pet is registered with. This means if anyone tries to re-register your dog, you will be informed.
Owners are also encouraged to report the theft to local vets and rehoming centres, and to register your pet on websites such as PetsLocated and Dogslost. Posting on social media and displaying posters locally are also good methods of raising awareness.