It’s believed around 2,000 stolen dogs are reported per year and the number just keeps increasing.
“Dog breeder offers £50,000 reward for her 11 puppies that were stolen by a gang of thugs armed with knives.
Just seeing social posts about missing animals makes my stomach flip with concern. For many of us, our dogs are one of the most precious things in the world!
As breeders and owners it’s imperative you keep them protected and secure. Dogs have become highly desirable and over recent years dog theft has significantly increased, mainly driven by the fluctuation of the monetary value of animals. A Belgium racing pigeon called ‘Armando’ sold for £1.1mil to some Chinese bird fancier's, I think this proves my case!
It’s easier to steal and distribute a litter of puppies then adults which are easier to identify and more likely to defend themselves.
Microchipping is one of the most effective ways of reuniting dogs with their owners, as long as the contact details are current.
Breeders can be at an extreme risk when selling puppies, typically if litters aren’t chipped and puppy viewings have started. This is an area of risk that you need to manage. Completing the four vetting stages will help deter any possible undesirables but it’s not foolproof.
Puppy viewings involve you allowing fairly unknown strangers into your home, which could potentially leave you a victim of crime.
Don’t provide your exact address, until 24-48hrs before the viewing. Your vetting process should have meant you have the visitors full contact details including address and contact numbers.
Explain to them that there are safe guarding procedures which will be carried out before any puppies are viewed and regardless of if they decide to purchase a puppy.
Request that the visitors provide identification in advance, copies of identification e.g. Passport or Photographic Driving Licence with a utility bill registered at the same address.
This is easily done by taking a picture using their mobile phone and forwarding the image with apps such as Whatsapp, Messenger or email.
You can also request they bring the originals on their visit, so you can check they haven’t been edited or counterfeit.
I have known breeders to also take note of the visitor’s cars registration during their visit.
Consider how much of your house the visitors will see. Possible criminals ’acting’ interested in viewing a litter, could be ‘casing your premises’ to return uninvited later.
Never have visitors when you are the only person on the premises. Two strangers could soon dominate a situation and you’ll have no help or immediate backup.
Consider investing in a security system to protect you, your house and your dogs. There are many types of surveillance systems and it’s worth seeking professional, advice due to the huge array of options.
Always have yours and your dogs safety and protection at the forefront of your mind. Treat every visitor with vigilance to prevent becoming part of ever increasing the ‘dog theft’ statics, particularly if you breed high value puppies.
This is where Sara Lamont the Canine Family Planner founder of HomeScan & Pet Mate Services will be sharing her observations in the world of canine breeding accrued from three decades in the field.