Pet theft is a worrying problem throughout Ireland with more and more reports of pets being stolen weekly.
Facebook pages are full of reports of missing cats and dogs, with owners begging the public to help find them.
Statistics on the number of cats and dogs being stolen in Ireland are hard to find. But in 2015 it was reported that
“Up to 150 dogs stolen from Irish homes every week as thieves attempt to cash in on Christmas market for stolen canines”.
How To Prevent Theft Of Your Pet
There are lots of things you can do to in an effort to prevent the theft of your pets.
Make sure your pet has an ID tag and is microchipped as this can be essential for identifying them. It’s law to have both, but a microchip also makes it harder for thieves to keep your pets as they can be easily scanned.
Make sure you keep the details updated if you move house or if you change your phone number. Many people forget to do this, leaving the chip useless.
A GPS tracker can also help locate a missing pet quickly to avoid potential theft. Cats can travel quite a distance and so a GPS tracker can help you find them before any harm comes to them.
#2. Know Where Your Pets Are
Make sure if you are leaving your dog in the back garden that the garden is secure and locked to prevent anyone getting in.
Never leave your dog alone in the car as many dogs are stolen from unoccupied vehicles. (Note – It’s also dangerous to leave your dog in a hot car)
Don’t leave your dog tied up outside a shop as it only takes a few seconds for someone to take them while you are inside.
Keep your dog on the lead when out walking them. A dog can be taken in minutes if targeted by a thief.
Spay/neuter your dog as they are less likely to be targeted if they are of no breeding use.
Many thieves are targeting particular dogs just for breeding.
#4. Be Careful What You Share
Don’t openly speak of the value of your dog or where they are kept as many people look on social networking sites which makes them a more vulnerable target.
If someone is asking lots of questions about your dog then be cautious of their intentions and take note of their appearance, car reg etc.
#5. Keep Your Pets In
It’s hard to know where a cat is all the time and the best way to keep them safe is to leave them in the home.
Unfortunately, cat theft is on the rise with 100’s of people having their cats taken all over Ireland.
CCTV in the home is a popular choice for many pet owners, with cameras quickly alerting you to someone in your home via a mobile phone app.
What Do You If Your Pet Is Stolen?
- If your pet is stolen, contact as many animal organisations and dog pounds as possible as soon as possible.
- Phone the local dog warden to see if your dog has been picked up.
- Alert your local neighbourhood watch group to keep a look out for your pets.
- Use websites such as www.lostdogs.ie and www.lostandfoundpets.ie to post information on your dog. These sites will share the details on their Facebook Pages which can often result in 1000’s of people sharing the post.
- Put up posters in your local area to let people know your pet is missing.
- If you want to offer a reward, it’s a personal choice. Many pet owners have found this doesn’t increase the chances of finding their pet and only attracts con artists claiming they know where the pet is.
- Pet Detectives can be hired to assist in the search of your pet. Reports are varied on the success of a pet detective, but many have had great success.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pet Owners will understand the stress and upset you are experiencing.