In light of Dog Theft Awareness Day (14th March), we have highlighted some ways to stay extra vigilant and hopefully decrease the likelihood of your dog being stolen.


Much like other crimes, dog theft can happen to anyone (providing you have a dog). Although there is no way to fully prevent it from happening to you, there are steps you can put in place to reduce the likelihood of your dog being stolen. There are also ways to increase the chances of you and your canine companion being reunited with one another. National Dog Theft Awareness Day was introduced to show the significance of pet identification techniques.


Thousands of pets are lost every year with many never being reunited with their owners - microchipping helps to change this. While collars and tags can easily be caught or removed, microchipping is a permanent method of identification. Nevertheless, it would be useful to have all 3 identification methods for your dog.



It is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped. However, if your pooch isn't already microchipped, we offer this service at our animal centre. We recommend that all animals are microchipped whether they are a dog or another species. Please call 01302 719790 to book an appointment.

Microchipping is a quick and simple procedure which involves a chip being inserted under the animal's skin. When scanned, this chip will provide a unique code which can be matched up with your contact details which are stored on a database. It is extremely important that your contact details are always kept up-to-date, so if you move house or change your telephone number, ensure you notify the chipping database immediately.

When an animal comes into our care, the first thing we do is check for a microchip. It is a lot easier for us to establish whether an animal is someone's missing pet when they are microchipped. If an animal is flagged up as missing on the microchipping database, we can easily contact the number attached to their chip to help reunite you. 

To learn more about microchipping, see here.


How to minimise the chances of becoming a victim of dog theft

  • Be alert at all times.
  • Walk with other dog walkers, or with friends/family member. When possible, avoid walking alone.
  • Change your routine regularly e.g. Walk at different times of the day and vary your route.
  • Always keep your dog in your eyesight throughout walks and be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Ensure your pet has good recall and doesn't stray too far when off-lead on walks.
  • Don't wear headphones or be on a phone call.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in public e.g. outside shops or in the car.
  • Make sure your garden is secure every time you let your dog out, and always keep an eye on them.
  • Consider investing in outside sensor lighting and CCTV covering your garden and surrounding area.


We would also encourage all owners to take extra precautions to protect their pooches by neutering them. This has several health benefits too.


In the unfortunate circumstance that you and your dog do become separated, there are a number of things you should do:

- If you have reason to suspect that your dog has been stolen, contact the Police online or via 101 to report the crime as theft.

- Call your dog's microchip database and let them know that your dog is missing.

- Call your local animal warden so they can keep a look out for any dogs that match their description.

- Register your pet on (a free service) and/or which is another helpful service.

- Call local veterinary practices.

- Call local animal centres, including your local RSPCA branch.

- Spread the word on social media - there are lots of helpful groups focussed on reuniting missing pets with their owners.

- Ask around in your local area, speak to dog walkers who frequent the area regularly and put up posters where you are allowed to.


Make sure you have a clear photo of your pet and are aware of any distinguishing marks they may have.