Having a Plan

Do you have a plan?

Since lockdown began many animal welfare charities advised it was not a good time to buy a dog. The assumption by many was that this was to do with dog welfare when people no longer worked from home. It’s not solely about this, although obviously it’s an important factor.

Aside from the lack of training classes, puppy socialisation opportunities, and access to a Vet (first lockdown). Charities predicted that the huge rise in demand for dogs would result in an increase in unethical breeding, illegal puppy farms, and dogs stolen for breeding or resale. They were right. Every day I see or hear about an appeal for a dog that’s been taken or gone missing. It’s heart breaking and truly shocking.

Without wishing to sound entirely pessimistic, I’d like to focus this blog on some suggestions to prevent a theft, and steps to consider if your dog goes missing.

As mentioned previously, it’s a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped. It’s also a requirement to keep your contact details up to date with your microchip registration site. I recommend you include your mobile number in these records, so that you can still be out searching whilst waiting for a call. This is vital in the event your dog is found.

I hope that the following is so obvious that you role your eyes at the screen, but here are my areas to consider…

  • Be careful not to leave your dog unattended in a garden. There have been thefts of dogs from gardens, and it only takes a few moments.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in the car or tied up outside a shop, aside from the issues in hot weather, they are equally likely to be stolen.
  • Be careful who you allow to approach your dog, and be mindful of the information you share.
  • When you exercise your dog off lead keep it within sight and sound. Thieves have been known to lure dogs away when the dog was running ahead or ‘just around the corner’.
  • Vary your routes and time of walking, notice what’s going on around you and (discretely) note anything of concern. You can always disregard or delete later.

If your dog goes missing

  • Be organised today. Do you know where your dog microchip registration details are? Do you have a recent digital photo of your dog? A record of any distinguishing features etc?
  • As soon as possible notify the pet microchip company three of which are Petlog, PETtrac and Indentibase so they can advise you if your dog is found. You can find the full list of approved database companies along with information on how to find your chip number here.
  • Post on social media – allocate social media duties to someone who can monitor and update accordingly.
  • Keep your mobile phone charged up, as you will be out there looking for your dog and will want to be able to respond to sightings.
  • Get help to distribute posters and fliers in the area your dog was last seen.
  • Phone around to check local vets, nearby shelters and the council dog warden.
  • Report a stolen dog to the police for a crime reference number.
  • Advise your pet insurance company, who may offer financial assistance to find your dog. There are ‘paid for’ dog tracking services they may recommend.
  • Keep organisations and social media up to date with developments.

Dog Lost

There are organisations to help you at this time. One that aims to make your dog ‘too hot to handle’ if stolen, is an organisation called Dog Lost it’s the UK’s largest free lost and found service.

You can find out more from their website. They get word out quickly, using their network of volunteers and social media to help you in the search for your missing dog. They do this through:


Your dog is automatically entered on to our forum “dogs lost”. Do check the site regularly for replies and also update others on your progress. We also suggest you make contact with other owners with the same breed of dog missing as they may be getting sightings of dogs which are not theirs but could be someone else’s. Also contact owners in your immediate area and offer to put up posters for each other in different areas.

We create a missing dog poster that you and others can print off and they can also be emailed to a friend direct from site.


A great way of delivering your posters. We can automatically email your poster out to all our helpers within a 30 mile radius of where your dog went missing from. There is no charge for this service as we rely on donations.


I hope the above is helpful information you won’t need to call upon for your dog.

Take care until next time




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