Dogs left unsupervised in gardens could be at risk from ‘dognappers’ who are taking advantage of soaring prices for lockdown pets

Research with over 1,200 UK dog owners reveals that 15% leave their pets unsupervised in the garden for long periods, including while they are out. This is despite a surge in thefts and huge demand for pets during the pandemic, with a rise in the theft of both pet and working dogs, with some farms losing several sheepdogs at a time.

While reports of the threat of ‘dognapping’ have led to owners changing their routes and times to exercise their pets, some do not realise that leaving their dogs unattended in gardens could put them at risk of being stolen by thieves. With one in six owners admitting their dog has escaped from home, it’s never been more important to keep your outdoor space secure and your dog in sight.

To protect pets from dognappers: make sure your dog is microchipped; avoid leaving the dog outside unattended; if you are buying a dog, thoroughly check the background; be vigilant and ensure you have clear photos of your dog as these will be vital, if you are unfortunate enough to have your dog stolen.

Rebecca Davidson

Rural Affairs Specialist, NFU Mutual

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