How safe are your customers’ pets? The Star recently revealed that over 70 dogs had been reported stolen within South Yorkshire over a one year period. In Wales, The Argus announced that a shockingly high level of thefts are thought to have taken place the Gwent area.

The South Wales Argus claims that 142 farm animals and domestic pets have been stolen over a three year period. The number of reported thefts of family pets in Gwent rose year-on-year from 2012 to 2014, discovered Pet Gazette magazine, following a Freedom of Information request.

Pet theft appears to be an ongoing problem in much of the UK. Last year an ITV report named London and Kent as the most likely places for dogs to be stolen. The same report suggested that gun dogs such as retrievers and spaniels were most at risk. Gangs may even be targeting specific households. In January, The Telegraph newspaper raised fears that symbols chalked near to houses in Durham may be used by dog thieves to mark the homes of pedigree breeds.

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For the pet trade, and indeed all animals lovers, these claims can only be distressing news. As always, it’s important to urge pet owners to to take the security of their pets very seriously. Most pet owners already take basic precautions, by never leaving animals untended in easily accessible areas and keeping an eye on dogs while they are off the lead. March’s issue of Pet Gazette will also be tackling the issue of microchipping – a useful method of identifying pets and reuniting them with owners. If you’d like to share your own tips for the prevention of pet theft, we’d love to hear from you on twitter @PetGazette.

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