Staffies top of the list of pinched pooches

Dogs Trust and Yale advice dog owners on how to keep their dogs safe this summer as homes and gardens are revealed as top spots for dog theft.

As a nation of dog lovers, we do everything we can to keep our dogs happy and healthy. From microchipping and ensuring they wear a collar and tag, to exercising and training them – looking from the outside in, it appears the UK’s dogs are well taken care of.

But new stats from Dogs Trust suggest that dog owners could be making one big faux pas when it comes to their dog’s safety – failing to secure their home to guard against dog theft.

The UK’s largest dog welfare charity reveals that nearly 2,000 dogs were reported stolen in 2018 with 299 thefts in London alone.

As with more than 1,000 of the total number of dogs stolen being reported as pinched from homes and gardens – making them the UK’s hotspot for dog theft – Dogs Trust has teamed up with security specialists Yale to unlock a wealth of advice on home security.

The stats, obtained through a freedom of Information request to the Police by Dogs Trust, also reveal the top five dog breeds most commonly stolen are:

  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  • Chihuahuas
  • French Bulldogs
  • Jack Russells
  • Pugs

Alex Jackson, Head of Campaigns at Dogs Trust, said: “Unsecured gardens or homes can be an easy target for thieves. As the days get warmer and people start to socialise in their gardens, we couldn’t think of a better time to remind dog owners to check the access points to their home and garden – this includes looking for gaps in your fence and other property boundaries to keep your dog in and intruders out.

We have a wealth of advice on our website about dog safety to help you keep your dog ‘safe, spottable and searchable’. Dogs can be a target for thieves looking to make money from breeding, so as well as keeping their microchip details up to date, spaying or neutering your dog could decrease their desire to wander and will also make them less desirable to thieves looking to breed for them.”

As well as providing advice on securing your home and garden to keep your four-legged friend safe, Yale are also sponsoring the charity’s dog theft campaign, ‘Family Pawtraits’.

Stephen Roberts, Marketing Manager at Yale UK says: “Back gardens are commonly targeted by burglars so it’s essential to ensure gates and any access areas are locked and ideally monitored remotely. This helps to keep your garden secure, along with your beloved pets. Dogs are members of the family, so it’s just as important to look after them, as it is to protect the house.

“There are a number of actions which can be taken to help ensure your dog is kept safe; keep all garden gates locked securely using a padlock and hasp, this along with smart alarms and cameras can work as an excellent deterrent. It’s important to ensure all fences surrounding your garden are secure and tall, making access for intruders more difficult.

“Additionally, indoor smart security cameras make it simple for dog owners to keep an eye on pets whilst away from home via the smartphone app.”

Yale will be joining Dogs Trust at their Fun Days around the UK to meet dog owner and offer tips on extra security measures. Dog loving locals will also be able to meet Dogs Trust experts who can give advice on all aspects of responsible dog ownership in order to limit the chance of their pooch being pinched.