Over the last 12 months the price for pets, in particular dogs, has risen sharply with more people working from home.
Vet practices are experiencing a significant rise in the number of puppies being registered with them since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and during the current lockdown.
The demand for new puppies has been such that the purchase prices have risen steeply and at the same time thefts of dogs and puppies has also increased.
The theft of a pet can be devastating and very upsetting for families so if you own a dog please consider taking some or all of the following precautions:
• Make sure you have your dog's microchip details readily available.
• Take an up-to-date photograph of your dog making sure to include any unique markings or features and keep it safe. Update it often as the puppy grows. If your dog is stolen the police will find this really useful.
• You should have your contact details attached to the dogs collar.
• When arriving at the vets check for vehicles in the car park or nearby where the occupants may appear to be looking at visitors to the vets. Bring this to the attention of the staff and remember registration numbers if possible.
• Always control your pet when leaving and be aware of your surroundings on your journey home.
• When you get home make sure your dog is safe and if left on their own in a garden make sure they cannot escape and a thief cannot walk in to take the dog.
• Take precautions when out walking, have your mobile phone handy, don't let your dog stray too far away and call it back if you see people acting suspiciously or if they ask a lot of questions about your dog.
• Don’t leave them alone tied up outside shops.
• Should the worst happen and your dog is stolen report it straight away. social media is useful to spread information quickly and may help quick recovery of the dog.
Dog theft is real and causes panic, fear and heartache, so protect your dog as you would protect yourself.
This proactive warning links in with Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl’s Police and Crime Plan priority of “A green and pleasant county” as well as “a compassionate approach”. Anyone who wishes to report information related to this can do so via the following link or calling 101: www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/