Pet care in your absence is essential because the incidence of pet theft is on the rise. Moreover some breed of pets are highly sought after for their resale value so doing all you can to guard against pet theft is essential. This is where Housesitters and Petsitters can be of enormous value in protecting your pets in their homes.
Pet Care at Home
We are great advocates of ensuring your pet is in good care and in sight whether you are at home or not. Finding suitable checked housesitters and pet sitters is one way to do this, to help protect and guard against pet theft. Housesitters can be pet companions, caring for them in their own environment to ensure there is a watchful eye on the at all times. What’s more housesitters from HouseSitMatch are already checked and exchange their services for free accommodation, it is a win win!
What To Do If Your Pet is Stolen?
While housesitters are considered a good way to prevent pet theft, you may not have arranged anyone to care for your pet while you are at work. Pet thefts can happen at any time.
And although pets of any type and breed can be stolen, expensive, and popular breeds of dogs are considered high-risk. It is every pet parent’s nightmare to know that someone intentionally took your beloved four-legged family member. In most US states and across the UK the law considers pets as personal property. Therefore the theft of an animal is considered a felony.
What can you do to prevent pet theft…
If your pet is stolen, you should immediately file a police report. This critical first step establishes the groundwork to get your pet back if you receive a tip or spot your pet out in public. Once you file a police report, you’ll want to find your pet as soon as possible. There is little the police can do until the pet is found, so decide on a plan of action to find your pet. You can help to make this happen.
Two million pets are stolen each year in the United States alone. Dogs are primary targets, and 2000 dogs were reported as stolen in the UK last year.
Responsible pet care – Preventative steps to guard against pet theft
Preventing your pet from being stolen is always your best bet. To ensure your pet does not become a statistic please consider the following steps:
- Never let your pets wander free in an open and unfenced area. For responsible pet care try to ensure someone is with them overseeing their activity.
- Do not leave your dog alone in your fenced in back garden or yard. If your dog must spend time unsupervised inside a fenced-in property, secure your gate with a keyed lock. If they spend time in the garden when you are home, put a loud bell on the gate. Opening the gate will ring the bell and notify you that someone is attempting to gain entrance.
- If you have a doggy door inside your house, lock it when you leave your pet home alone.
- Have your dog micro-chipped – this is fundamental pet care. Those who steal pets usually do so with the intention of re-selling the animal. A microchip should trigger a call to you if the new owners bring them in for a vet check.
- Get on a pet finder app. Apps like Shadow will get the pet-owning community on your side. If your pet is seen, it will be reported. Here is a list of the top 10 dog finder apps in the UK for reference.
Pet Care – Chipping and reporting
As soon as you introduce a pet into your home you should get the animal chipped or tattoed for security. You should also make a note of any distinguishing marks for future reference this will help you guard against pet theft and to take appropriate action should this happen to you. As soon as you realise the pet is missing, call the company or vet’s surgery that has your pet’s microchip registered and report the theft. A theft report should trigger an automatic notification when scanning the chip.
Make flyers and post them in as many places as possible. Offer a reward for information leading to the safe return of your pet, but do not indicate you think the pet was stolen. The person who took the pet may be willing to return it for a reward. Do not specify the amount of the reward. There have been cases of thieves stealing pets to wait for a reward to be offered.
Pet Care – Scanning and alerting your local area
Make sure every Veterinarian in the area receives a flyer. Let the veterinarians’ offices know that you suspect theft and that a police report is on file. This information will hopefully prompt them to scan any similar dog brought in, and they may contact the police immediately if it is your dog. Repeat this process at any grooming salon. If the thief plans to sell your dog, they might want to have the animal groomed first to command top dollar.
Visit any trade days or flea markets that frequently have an area where pets are bought and sold. You could get lucky and find your dog there. Call the police if you spot your dog. If your dog is micro-chipped or tattoed, it should be easy to identify your pet. Even without a microchip, your initial police report should list any distinguishing scars or markings that prove the pet is yours.
If your animal is intact and a specific breed, ask police if they will check any known puppy mills in the area. If they cannot or will not look into it, consider setting up a meeting yourself. Pose as a potential buyer. Always have someone come with you, and do not confront them if you think you identify your dog. Leave and report the information to the police immediately.
Pet Care – Community outreach
Contact all rescue groups dedicated to the specific breed of your dog in your geographical area. Make sure they have a copy of your flyer with your pet’s details. Rescue groups will probably also be knowledgeable about the local puppy mills and may be aware of any unscrupulous breeders in the area. Proceed with caution, and do not ever try to confront the person who took your dog. Finding your dog will be your responsibility, but getting it back is a matter for the police.