if our pet goes missing we all want to find it as quickly as possible. Finding out if our pet is just lost, has strayed off somewhere or has been stolen will guide us as to the next steps we need to take. Some pets, particularly cats will stray away from home, often for long periods of time before returning. With dogs, its more likely to be an accident, injury or theft that keeps them from returning home if they have strayed.
Whatever the reason, it is always stressful and worrisome that our beloved pet is missing. At Protectapet we understand the need to find your pet quickly and all of our Pet Healthcare Plans include a section for an advertising campaign or a reward scheme to get your pet back to you as soon as possible.
Cover for lost, stolen or strayed pets may not always be covered as standard in a policy that you have with a pet insurance company.
Most people take precautionary measures every day to protect what they value the most. We lock our cars and homes when we leave them. We even fit our homes with alarm systems, cameras, and doorbells that allow us to see who comes to our homes when we are out. We secure our children in car seats for safe travel and wear seatbelts when in a vehicle.
So why should protecting our furry family members be any less important? Many people do not realise how widespread pet theft is and that it can happen anywhere and in any neighbourhood.
Dog theft is unfortunately on the increase, with recent research in the UK putting the numbers as high as 60 dogs being stolen each week according to data taken from local police authorities. With over 50% of households being pet owners, it could affect you and your family.
It is estimated nearly 2 million pets are stolen each year, according to Pet FBI, a non-profit organisation that helps to recover lost pets. Only 10 percent of stolen pets ever make it back to their homes.
A new criminal offence for pet abduction is set to be introduced under government plans to crack down on pet theft following a reported rise in pets being stolen during the pandemic. The new law will recognise the welfare of animals and that pets are valued as more than just property.
The following are some of the most common reasons pets are stolen:
If the unthinkable happens and your pet strays, or is stolen the below actions should be taken as soon as possible…..
Request that they list your dog in the “stolen article” category on the FBI’s National Crime Information Centre
First and most importantly is to have you pet microchipped. Not only is this crucial to the safe return of your beloved pet but it also provides proof of ownership of your Pet. Most Pet Insurance and healthplan providers will not cover your pet for loss or straying if they have not been microchipped.
Studies show that Dogs that are microchipped were returned to their original owners more than 52.2% of the time, in contrast to less than 21.9% of pets without microchips who return home.
Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time.
For microchipped animals that weren’t returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database – so don’t forget to register and keep your information updated.
Never leave your dog unattended or tied up in public places. It only takes a minute for a thief to strike.
Make sure that your garden fence is securely locked, it is just one deterrent to a would-be dog thief.
It only takes a determined dog thief moments to smash your car window and snatch your beloved pet.
Do not walk your dog at the same time and on the same route each day if possible, this will lessen the chances of a potential thief learning your schedule!
To stop or reduce the chance of your pet wandering, spaying and neutering could help keep your pet close to home.