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Wellbeing: Would You Know What To Do If Your Dog Was Lost or Stolen?

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Pet Theft Awareness Week (14-21st March) kicked off on Friday with the aim of helping owners protect their pets from opportunist and professional thieves, the latter of which target expensive Pedigree dogs for re-sale or breeding. The week also aims to raise awareness of what owners should do should the worse happen … 

There are simple measures you can take to protect your dog against theft (read our guide HERE) but if your dog was lost or stolen, would you know what to do to help get them back safe and sound? 

We all pray it never happens to us but it’s worth taking a minute of your time to read Pet Theft Awareness Week’s guide on what to do if your dog becomes lost or is stolen:

  • Act quickly! The quicker you act, the greater the chance you have of getting your dog back
  • If your dog is micro-chipped, which he will need to be by law in 2016, report your dog as missing with Petlog.org.uk immediately
  • If your dog is snatched from you, try to take photographs of the person or vehicles used in the crime. Write down as much info as you can straight away
  • Contact the police immediately
  • Contact friends and start an immediate search of the area
  • Consider areas where you think thieves might take your dog
  • Put a message out on all your social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – along with a recent photo of your dog and ask friends to share and spread the word. Never underestimate the power of social media!
  • If you have not done already activate your dog's microchip details on DogLost.co.uk and visit their site for help and information
  • Put a poster up in your police station - maybe one of the police officers will see it and recognise your pet
  • Contact your local dog warden, as there is a chance that thieves might dump your dog if they think they’re close to getting caught
  • Post details on Petlog’s Lost & Found page on Facebook

You could also consider the services of a missing pet search company such as Animal Search UK – read our interview with Animal Search's founder for more information. 

If you are a dog owner, who lets their dog enjoy off lead exercise in public spaces you might also want to check out the Dog Tracker Plus Collar – a simple to use collar and app, which helps locate your dog before they are lost. Even if your dog has a successful track record of recall, this collar is a great idea, as there are lots of reasons your dog may stray such as chasing the female scent or even the loud bang of fireworks.

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The Dog Tracker Plus Collar has incorporated GPS technology that connects with the smartphone app allowing you to see your dog mapped onto the surroundings, as you scan the landscape. The technology is called augmented reality and means you can see the dog in relation to the actual surroundings, greatly increasing the chances of tracking down your dog before they are lost. You can even set up electronic boundaries on your phone with instant alerts when your dog goes beyond a distance you feel comfortable with. To protect against theft, the collar features a panic button, lockable button, anti-cut webbing and an auto-tamper alert system. For more information and prices, visit Petscorner.co.uk.

To spread the word about Pet Theft Awareness Week: share this article via the buttons below / visit Pettheft.co.uk / like Facebook.com/pettheft / and follow @Pettheftaware on Twitter.

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