Thousands of dogs of all breeds, gender and ages are stolen every year in Australia. They are stolen for many reasons such as – theft for resale, breeding, keeping as pets and for use in illegal fighting rings. We share a traumatic story with a happy ending about a courageous doggie called Clyde. We have 10 tips to avoid dog theft and keep your dog safe.
Back in April 2013, a haunting article, “Lovers, not fighters” was published in the Sydney Morning Herald about two inseparable doggies, Bonnie and Clyde. One fateful day, Clyde was stolen from his home located north of Sydney. He was taken several hundred kilometres away and used as bait for dogfighting. After eight months of experiencing untold horrors, Clyde was returned to his owner thanks to a local Ranger and correct microchip details. Poor Clyde was found to be emaciated with sores all over his body. Finally, Clyde was reunited with his beloved Bonnie and he recovered well from his traumatic ordeal.
10 tips to avoid dog theft
All dogs can be at risk but there are some things you can do to avoid dog theft and protect your pet.
- De-sex your dog – some thieves hope to financially gain by breeding dogs
- Microchip your pet – when your animal is implanted with a microchip, the microchip is given a unique number. When the microchip is read or scanned (harmless to animals) it shows information about the animal, including its owner and the owner’s contact details. This information can be useful if your animal is lost or impounded
- Ensure microchip details are correct – next time you take your pet to the vet, check your pet’s microchip details including your contact details are correct
- Register your dog with your Council
- Properly identify your pet with a collar and tag at all times
- Make sure that your dog is not visible from the street, ideally keep your dog inside when you are not there. If your dog has to be outside, then ensure your backyard is secure with a locked gate. Many dogs get frightened and escape during the festive season’s fireworks.
- Keep recent photos and written descriptions of your pets on hand at all times
- Do not tie your dog outside a store to wait for you
- Keep your dog on a leash whenever you go outside (except for secure off-leash dog parks)
- Be cautious when giving strangers information about your dog – there have been cases where owners walking their dog have been approached by someone enquiring about their dog’s breed, age and name, and the dog has gone missing the following day during their regular walk.