Gardaí are appealing to the public to take extra crime prevention measures when it comes to caring for your pet, particularly high-value breeds of dogs.
A number of dog thefts have been reported in recent months, Gardaí say in a statement.
What to look out for
The National Crime Prevention Unit has urged dog owners to be suspicious of strangers asking for personal information about their dog, to conduct research and check references when using a sitter or kennel service, and to check the privacy settings on their social media accounts to ensure criminals can’t see photos of their pets online.
Make sure to vary the times and places you walk your dog to avoid creating a pattern for thieves to track and plan around, Gardaí say.
Leaving your dog outside of shops or other public places, or leaving your dog in the car while running errands could create an ideal opportunity for thieves. It’s safer to leave the dog at home, or with someone you trust.
Thieves can take advantage of an unsupervised dog left out in the garden, so be sure to keep an eye on them at all times. You may also consider installing CCTV as an additional crime prevention measure, Gardaí add.
The National Crime Prevention Unit also urges dog owners to microchip their pets.
This echoes advice issued earlier this week by the ISPCA, who say: “It is universally recognised as the best way to make your pet permanently identifiable and offers you peace of mind if the worst was to suddenly happen.”
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling says: “Thousands of pets are lost every year and many pet owners are sadly never reunited but microchipping your pet will help. We would encourage all pet owners to get your pets chipped and also to then check that your contact details are registered and correct on the database. Your microchip certificate will be sent to you and it’s important to keep this document safe and remember to update your contact details, if you move house or change your phone number.”
What to do if your dog is stolen
It’s important to act quickly. The National Crime Prevention Unit advises the following:
– Immediately report the theft to Gardaí.
– Report the loss to your local authority, your vet and your dog’s microchip company.
– Spread the word on social media – post clear photos and detailed descriptions both on your profile and any other groups and pages you are connected with and encourage people to share quickly.
– Create posters and flyers, distribute these around your local community. Check your insurance policy, it might be able to cover some of these costs.
– Report the theft on as many missing animal websites as you can and keep an eye out on social media and selling pages.
In the instance where a lost animal is found, ensure the rightful owner is being contacted before returning them.Tags: