Everyone knows that Dogs are a human’s best friend. To the point that, dogs are the most popular owned pet within the UK. With this in mind, how can dog owners across the country prevent their pooches from being dognapped. Lynne Fisher, Marketing and Sales Support Manager at Cliverton, a specialist supplier of animal trade insurance, highlights:
“Dognapping is on the rise. In fact, there were 2,760 reported incidents within the UK in 2021. That’s the highest number of dognapping cases in the last seven years. These can be sold for a profit, used to breed new dogs, or even used as dog bait.
“At Cliverton, we offer insurance plans to help those working in animal-related businesses. This includes our dog walker insurance package, which covers all public liability for dog sitters, dog walkers, and dog taxi workers.”
Here, we have created a list of tips and tricks to prevent anyone from stealing your four-legged friends. But first, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly stolen dogs and the places they’re likely to be taken throughout the nation.
Commonly stolen dog breeds
All dog breeds are worthy of our love. Despite this, some dogs are worth more money than others and are more likely to be stolen as a result. These are five of the most commonly stolen dog breeds in 2021.
Pugs are an adorable breed of dogs. Who doesn’t love their characteristic snout and hilarious snorts? On average, according to research by Pets4Homes, the average price to buy this dog is £1,017.83 – so we can assume they will be seen as valuable for dognappers.
Chihuahuas are cuddly dogs with sassy personalities. They might be small, but they’re worth £1009.53 on average, so make sure you keep them within your line of sight.
3. American Bulldog
American Bulldogs are handsome pooches, to say the least. Their big smiles and drooping jowls are enough to make anyone want to stop for a stroke. Worth a staggering £2,294.27, these dogs are as valuable as they are friendly!
2. Jack Russell
If you closed your eyes and imagined a dog, Jack Russells would probably be one of the first you’d think of. Not only are they are one of the most loved dogs, but they’re reasonably small and easier to steal as a result. They’re also worth £760.84!
1. French Bulldog
The most commonly stolen dog breed is none other than the French Bulldog. They’re incredibly adorable and share the same squished snouts as pugs. If you own a French Bully, beware of dognappers looking to snatch your £1,707.71 pooch!
Places with the most reported dognapping incidents
It doesn’t matter where in the country you live, Dognapping continues to be an ongoing issue. To help dog owners be aware of their surroundings, here are five regional police forces within England with the most reported incidents in 2021.
5. South Yorkshire Police
Yorkshire may be God’s own country but there were 100 cases in 2021. This is 42 cases more than the previous year.
4. Lancashire Constabulary
Next is Lancashire Constabulary with 116 reported cases. This is fairly consistent with 111 from the previous year.
3. Kent Police
Kent Police reported 182 stolen dog cases in 2021. This was a 64 per cent rise compared to 2020.
2. West Yorkshire Police
Yorkshire seems to be one of the hottest places for dognapping incidents. In fact, South Yorkshire Police received 199 cases throughout 2021, a 74 per cent increase.
1. Metropolitan Police Service
The highest number of dognapping cases took place in London. According to the Metropolitan Police, there were 422 incidents in 2021 and 318 in 2020.
Tips and tricks to protect your pooch
Now you know which dogs are the most vulnerable to dognapping and which places it’s most likely to happen, here are some tips and tricks to protect your pooch.
Collar customised with your name and address
First and foremost, you can make sure your dog wears a collar with your contact information on it. This one is a simple and sure way to ensure that your dog can be returned to you if it is lost or taken to another area of the country.
Take lots of pictures
Taking pictures of your dog shouldn’t be too difficult considering how perfectly they pose. This will help the general public and police identify your dog if they’re ever stolen, whether you post these on social media groups or do it the old-fashioned way and place ‘Lost Dog’ posters around your local area.
Dog trackers can be attached to a collar or a harness, and let you know the real-time location of your pooch. This GPS device can give you the confidence to go on long walks during the evenings without losing track of your canine companion.
Stick to the path
Dogs love nothing more than a long walk with their owners. If you’re eager to stay out of harm’s way, try sticking to dog walking paths rather than heading off into the countryside. There are countless paths to choose from around England and the rest of the UK, so you’ll never be stuck for choice.
Improving home security
Dogs may also be stolen from your own home. More often than not, their barks alert you to any intruders, but to make sure your pooch is safe and sound, consider improving your home security systems, from cameras to alarms and whichever other options you feel most comfortable with.
A final note
Each and every dog is valuable and important. But if you own certain breeds, such as French Bulldogs, it might be worth being a little more aware of the dangers of dognapping, especially if you live in an area with high dog burglary rates. Taking certain steps, such as walking on public paths, using dog trackers, and improving security systems are good ways to prevent this from happening.