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A charity for dogs is offering practical advice to pet owners after Home Secretary Priti Patel said she will look at tougher measures to tackle the recent rise in thefts.
Dogs for Good said although there has been a rise in dogs being stolen during the pandemic, the numbers of those thefts are still relatively low.
But the charity has still issued a number of tips on how to keep your dogs safe, the best is to keep an eye on him or her and not to be distracted when out and about.
Is your garden secure? Did you lock the gate? When away from home, do not leave your dog outisde shops. Tinted car windows can make what is in your car less visible to prying eyes too, says the charity.
Where possible, try and keep your dog away from the side of the road when you’re out on a walk. Doing so will make it far more difficult for someone to open a car door, take your dog and drive off.
Scope out some safer, free-run locations where you’ve got clear sight of your dog, says the charity that also recommends using extendable leads and altering routes and times you go walkies.
‘Even with the current restrictions, you can still take a walk with someone else as long as you keep a safe distance apart. Make sure you’ve got plenty of recent photos of your dog clearly showing identifiable markings and make sure your dog has been chipped and that you keep any changes to your details updated with the database,’ said a Dogs for Good spokesperson.
If the unthinkable happens and your dog is taken, you should notify police, dog wardens, vets and local rescue centres.
Go to dogsforgood.org for more information.