We love our pets like family, so keeping your pet safe is always worth reviewing. Since the start of the national lockdown last year, there has been an increase in reports of stolen pets.
Reviewing the reports, it seems that getting a pet has been the biggest ‘win’ of lockdown, on the surface this is rather wonderful. Lots of new rescue dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs have been re-homed. However, there have also been people willing to buy from less scrupulous sources. Now that many rescues and registered breeders have ‘run out’ of animals, people have bought pets online without any regard for their source.
While this is indeed a very worrying trend, there are some basic precautions we can all take to keep our pets safe.
- Larger pets should be micro-chipped with your details, which would then be found by a vet for example.
- Make sure to check your insurance to see what is covered and for any extra information.
- Keeping your front door and any access to a garden locked.
- Consider any ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign that shows a specific breed, you may wish to change this for something more generic.
- Make sure you have up to date photos of your pet, with you too, to prove ownership
- Always keep your dog on a lead, they should also have a collar and tag with your contact details on.
- Don’t leave dogs in a car, or outside of a shop, unattended
- Vary your walks by time and route as much as possible
If the worst should happen:
Firstly, contact the local authority dog warden, your insurance and if you have a microchip they may also have an alert service. There will be lots of guidance and support from these organisations.
Secondly, contact the Police and get a crime number. However, they may list it as a lost pet, so make sure you are clear with the details of what happened. Local vets may also keep a record of local pets, and may be worth contacting.
Add some recent photos to any local community groups on social media as soon as you can. Also ask any local dog walking groups to keep a look out, especially if your dog may know them. These modern resources are much quicker than putting up posters – but this is still a good tactic in the areas you regularly walk.
Keeping your pet safe isn’t always possible, try not to blame yourself and turn your frustration into action.
In addition, you may also wish to contact the Missing Pets Bureau. There is also a pet bereavement service offered by the charity Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service which can be contacted on 0800 096 6606 (8.30am – 8.30pm) or by email: email@example.com.
If you have concerns regarding the safety of your pet during Covid, you may want to check out one of our other posts.