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Dogs remain the main target of pet thefts in Northamptonshire, police data shows

The latest police figures show that dogs remain the main target of pet thieves in Northamptonshire.

A freedom of information (FOI) request made to Northamptonshire Police revealed that 29 pets in total were involved in break-ins or thefts across the county from June 2021 to May 2022.

This data shows a slight drop when comparing figures from June 2020 to May 2021, showing that 34 pets were involved in theft or theft in the county.

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Chihuahuas are currently the dog breed most targeted by pet thieves in Northamptonshire, according to the latest police data. Photo from Pexels.

Demand for dogs in recent years has reached an all-time high and prices for some of the UK’s most desirable dog breeds have hit an all-time high in recent years, according to the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust.

A spokesperson for the Dogs Trust said: “Given the high demand for dogs in recent years and rising prices, it is not surprising that criminals have taken and continue to take advantage of the situation.

“Our dogs play a huge role in our lives, but sadly so many dogs are stolen every year, which is absolutely heartbreaking.”

The FOI asked county police for data on pet thefts between January 2019 and May 2022.

Which pets are the most attacked?

A total of 11 pet thefts have been recorded so far this year, five of which involved dogs. Other pets stolen this year include a cat, a rabbit and a fish.

The data shows that dogs were also the main target in 2021 with a total of 19 dogs stolen from 33 pets in total. Other pets involved in the theft that year included three fish, two birds, a chicken, a goat, a guinea pig and an insect.

Dogs were also the most targeted in 2020 with 19 dogs stolen from 40 total pets. Other pets stolen in 2020 include four chickens, four cats, three rabbits and two turtles.

Statistics show the same pattern in 2019, with dogs being the most targeted. Of the 31 pet thefts that year, dogs comprised 13 in total. Other pets involved in the robbery include three birds, two mice, a duck and a swan.

Between January 2019 and May 2022, the dog breed most targeted by thieves was Chihuahuas, although the FOI shows that these dogs were targeted only six times.

Where are pets commonly stolen from?

This year’s figures so far show that 55 per cent of stolen pets in Northamptonshire were taken from homes and 36 per cent of stolen pets were taken into an open public space.

Data from 2021 reinforces that homes are the primary target for pet thieves, with 67% of stolen pets being stolen from homes, followed by 24% from an open public space.

Change social media profile to private, police say

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: “Dogs aren’t just pets, they’re members of people’s families, so we know how devastating it is when one is stolen.

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to give advice on crime prevention, unfortunately there are people who will want to steal your furry friend to make some money.

“If you follow a few simple steps, you can help protect your dog, from keeping it where you can see it both at home and away, to making sure your social media profiles are set to private so people you don’t know can do so. . I don’t see your photos or find out where you live.”

Protecting your pet from theft at home

– Do not leave pets in the garden or patio unattended. Pets in front yards are very vulnerable.

– Install a bell or alarm on the rear or side doors; doors must be secured with British standard deadbolts, deadbolts or closed shackle padlocks. See the police page on yard safety for more information.

– The garden boundary must be secure to prevent your dog from escaping or a thief from approaching and taking your dog out.

– Any outside kennel can also have a bell or small alarm installed to warn you of any tampering; they must also have locks installed.

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Protect your pet from theft when you are away from home

– Never leave your dog unattended in a car, especially on hot days.

– Don’t leave your dog alone outside a store, even if he’s only gone for a minute.

– Keep your dog on an extended leash if he is not trained to return when called.

– Vary the times and routes you take when walking your dog to prevent your dog from being a target.

– Beware of strangers asking too many questions about your dog.

– Be careful about the details you post on social media, especially where you live, the type of dog you have and where you walk.

– If you need to use a dog walking service or kennel, be sure to check references carefully to make sure the offer is genuine or the company is reputable.

A Dogs Trust spokesperson added: “It is vital that dogs are microchipped and owner details are kept up to date.

“If the worst happens and your dog is stolen, it can be recorded as ‘stolen’ in the microchip database, giving owners the best chance of getting their dog back.”

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