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Although it’s not a form of crime that many people often think about, pet theft is one of the cruellest and heart-breaking types of theft that can occur. Here in the UK, it’s been reported that 5 dogs are stolen daily on average with just one of these being safely recovered. It’s a sobering figure for any animal lover, so here’s a quick list of things you can do to stop your pet becoming a similar statistic.

Health awareness

Neutering your pet is a sensible decision to make if you want to prevent unwanted litters. The process can also reduce the distance that your cat will roam away from your home in search of a mate, Without this procedure, they are more likely to head further afield, expanding their territory. By venturing further from home, your pet becomes more prone to accident, injury and theft, as they may have more difficulty finding their way back home.

Always check ID and references

If you are heading off on holiday or you work long hours, you’re likely to need the services of a dog sitter or walking service. Before you leave your dog with anyone, do a thorough check of their ID and ideally ask to see references from other clients.

Always look for a company or individual with the correct industry accreditation and qualifications to ensure your pet is in safe hands whilst you’re away from them.

Home security

A significant proportion of pet thefts occur at your own home. Thieves are interested in any item of high-value, whether that is cash, jewellery and technology, or your pedigree pet. Investing in sufficient home security devices such as CCTV and security lighting can be an effective deterrent for thieves. Although no security system is 100 percent secure, the presence of a security device at your home is often enough to discourage criminals from targeting you.

Be careful what you say

As much as we all like to show off our furry accomplices to anyone that will listen, doing so in great detail isn’t always the best idea. As overly suspicious as it sounds, anyone you meet could be a potentially shady character, so beware of what information you divulge especially if your pet is a high-value breed.

Ensure your pet is microchipped

Since April 2016, the law has stated that dogs in particular have to be microchipped so that they can be identified if found separate from their owner.

Once implanted, any pet found alone or potentially seized by the authorities from criminals can then be scanned, identified and reunited with their owner. This method will also prevent someone else from claiming ownership of your pet as a quick check can settle the issue in an instant.

This article was contributed on behalf of Wheldon Law criminal solicitors firm with a speciality in defending dogs accused in court.