Dog owners urged to take extra precautions after spate of thefts

Dogs who were reunited with their owners after a raid in Willingham in June 2020

Dogs who were reunited with their owners after a raid in Willingham in June 2020 - Credit: Archant

Police are urging pet owners to be vigilant and review their security after reports of a rise in dog thefts in other counties. 

The demand for dogs has soared across the country due to more people working from home and having extra time on their hands. 

DCI Chris O’Brien said: “Dogs are often part of the family and having them stolen can be absolutely devastating. 

“Whilst we are not currently seeing an increase in dog thefts in Cambridgeshire, we’d urge pet owners to consider taking extra precautions to help deter thieves and protect your pets. You can never be too careful.” 

Extra precautions include: 

  • Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times 

  • Lock gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock 

  • Ensure there are no places where dogs or other animals can escape or be pulled through, if they are left in a back garden 

  • Never leave your pet in the garden unattended 

  • Fit a bell or gate alarm so it makes a sound when someone opens it 

  • Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any visitors, these can also be used in rear gardens 

  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and their details are updated so that they can be returned if they are stolen and subsequently found 

  • Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car, even for a few minutes 

  • Take lots of photographs of your dog to prove ownership if it’s stolen and then found 

  • Report dog theft to police straight away 

Always report stolen dogs to police, as sometimes officers have been able to reunite owners with their four-legged friends. 

Anyone with info about a stolen dog, or suspicious behaviour, can report it via the force’s web chat service: https://bit.ly/2D9KFKH or by calling 101 if they do not have internet access. 

For more advice visit the force’s dedicated dog theft page: https://bit.ly/3iDogWH 

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