Monday, 28 July 2014

Protecting Your Dog From Thieves

Protecting Your Dog From Thieves
Dog theft has become an increasing concern for many dog owners throughout New Zealand.  Our friends at Paw Justice have have discovered that networks of thieves may be stealing family dogs to use as bait for fighting dogs but dog thefts happen for other reasons too.  Here’s what you need to do to help keep your dog(s) safe.

Keep an Eye Out

  • Look for coloured marks, numbers and/or ribbons on your letterbox, fence, gate, pavement or driveway.  These marks often look like spray-painted council markings.  These markings will often be accompanied by a coding system that signifies the number of dogs at the property eg: you may see two ribbons, a number “2” or two dots on a property that has two dogs.  We are aware of blue, red, orange and pink marks being used.  If you spot a marking:

    • Remove it immediately
    • Keep your dog(s) inside
    • Notify your neighbours
    • Notify Paw Justice, Inspector Spot and the local Police immediately

  • Keep an eye on markings on your neighbours’ properties when you’re out walking.  If you see a suspicious mark, remove it and notify your neighbour immediately.
  • Watch out for people or vehicles loitering around properties that have dogs.  In some cases children are sent out to mark properties, so be aware of anyone that does not belong in your neighbourhood.
Keep Your Dog Safe
  • Ensure your property is well fenced and all gates are securely LOCKED.  If you do not already have locks on your gates, install them now and make sure they’re locked each time you leave the house.
  • A more cautious approach is to keep your dogs inside your house until you return.  No, it’s not ideal but if there are thieves operating in your area it is better to be safe than sorry.  Dogs are often stolen during the day, when you are at work.
  • Do not allow your dog(s) to sleep outside at night.  Thieves are returning to steal dogs that are left outside after dark.
  • Consider changing the address your vehicles are registered to from your home address to a work or PO Box address.  Why?  Because thieves will often spot dogs in vehicles when you’re out and about then track the vehicle back to your home address. 
  • Be careful while driving with your dog(s) - especially if you have a breed that is at high risk of theft.  Keep your doors locked and your windows at a level that prevent someone from reaching in and grabbing your dog.  
  • Ensure your dog(s) are registered at so my team can help you to locate them if they do go missing.
  • Find us on Facebook.  We will keep you up to date with details of those areas that are being targeted so you can determine just how cautious you need to be.  Right now, a locked gate may be enough but if thieves are actively targeting your area, we firmly recommend keeping your dog(s) inside if you are not at home.

Spread the Word
  • Please print a copy of this guide and give it to your neighbours – especially those that have dogs.  Even those neighbours that do not have dogs can help keep an eye out for markings, so enlist their help as well.
  • Email this guide to everyone you know who has a pet dog.  The more people who know what to look out for, the greater chance we all have of catching these thieves.

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