Dog theft is rising: protect your precious pet

May 11, 2022

Dog theft is rising: protect your precious pet

Dog theft is on the rise – and it’s devastating for owners. Are you doing enough to keep your pet secure?

Theft has always been a risk for dog owners, but the rates are rising rapidly and extra measures are advised. The surge in pet purchasing during the 2020/21 lockdowns pushed the prices up so high that criminals are now cashing in – and getting bolder. The average price of a puppy doubled while the rising interest in ‘designer dogs’ – exotic dogs and highly sought-after cross breeds – only added further financial incentive for criminals. In fact. there were so many dog thefts in 2021 that the Government has been compelled to create a Pet Theft Taskforce and a new criminal offence to tackle it.

Prosecution is one thing, but we want to stop your dog being taken in the first place. It can help to understand the methods of criminals so you can be more aware of anything suspicious. Evidence shows the thief may observe a dog for many weeks, identifying the owner’s house or kennels where the animal is kept, as well as the weekly routine of walks.

Keep an eye out for anyone watching your property or your animal and make other dog owners aware if any individuals are acting oddly. It could be worth buying a GPS tracking collar to allow you to locate your dog at all times and be vigilant when letting your dog off the lead on walks. Try to avoid leaving them alone, such as unattended outside a shop.

Next, review the security of your home or the kennels. Sadly, as a nation we have never taken home security particularly seriously: stats from 2020 indicate that a quarter of British homeowners have no security measures in place whatsoever, and yet criminals are likely to pick their targets based on whether the property looks vulnerable.

Installing visible security measures is a powerful disincentive. Ensure you have tall, secure fences and gates with robust locks, as well as security alarms that can either be seen or are indicated from the outside of the property. In our age of technology, CCTV cameras are highly recommended – and far more affordable than you may realise.

This market has grown rapidly in recent years, bringing down prices and improving the quality and range of equipment. The cameras are easy to use and most can connect to your property’s WiFi for remote access – you could even change the angle or zoom in on something suspicious via your smartphone when you’re away from your property. Considering energy prices are so high, it could be worth getting a battery or solar-powered camera to avoid additional costs on your bills. Many have integrated memory cards and are able to record and store footage.

While investing in CCTV cameras does cost, it also brings additional gains. There has been a rise in catalytic converter thefts over the past few years while home break-ins are always a risk; visible cameras will help protect both the vehicle and your house, in addition to your animal.

Understandably, CCTV cameras may seem too ‘complicated’ for those without technology experience, but you’ll be surprised at how simply they can be to use once you understand them. We would advise speaking to an expert, especially if you’re keen to connect your cameras with your WiFi and be able to control them remotely.

The Castra Solutions team are all WiFi experts with decades of experience in this industry. We know which CCTV cameras are worth your time and money – the sort we use ourselves at home. We can install your new cameras and explain how to operate them.

It’s time to take pet security seriously to avoid becoming a victim to this increasingly prevalent crime. Review your property and get in touch with Castra Solutions for more information about home security.

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