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Dog thefts warning from Sutton police

Sutton police has issued a statement with regard to incidents of dogs being stolen.

We strongly encourage the communities in Sutton and across the South BCU to be mindful when exercising their pets.

“Due to the pandemic the market for dogs has seen an increase in demand. Unfortunately this demand has led to criminals taking advantage of the situation and targeting family pets as a way to make fast money.

We would encourage dog owners to be mindful of the following information:

Never leave your pet tied-up unattended, such as outside shops for example. Or unsupervised in your garden.

Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag when in a public place, as you are required to do by law. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full post code and if there’s room, put ‘microchipped’ on the tag if your dog has a chip. Ensure your dog can be permanently identified by its microchip. A microchip is helpful to identify your pet if it does become lost or stolen. Ask your vet to check your dog’s microchip every year to ensure your details are accurate and up-to-date. As the correct details on the Micro-chip are required to be kept up to date by law, since April 2016.

Keep all documentation relating to your dog(s) in a safe place. Include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog. Make a note or take a picture of any unusual markings.

Be cautious when choosing someone who will care for your dog(s) while you are at work, in hospital or on holiday. Be clear about when the dog will be handed over and who will collect it.

Use a registered boarding kennel or professional dog carer with documentation to this effect unless you know someone who is trustworthy that will care for your dog in your absence.

Train your dog not to go out of your sight on walks. Use an extending lead if the dog does not comply. Vary your walk times and routes.

Walk in pairs with a family member or friend and try to stay in well-lit areas and to main roads. Beware of strangers who show interest in your dog: don’t give details about your dog.

Don’t allow strangers to have their photograph taken with your dog.

Ensure your garden or yard is secure. Check it regularly for wear and tear or gaps. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out. Keep your dog in view when it goes out into the garden, don’t leave it unattended. If you spot any suspicious behaviour or have any information about a stolen dog, you can report it to police on 101 or online https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/

If your dog is stolen then it’s vital to report it to police but also consider: Report to local authority – Sutton Council and notify your microchip database provider: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/…/1222/stray_and_lost_dogs Report to www.doglost.co.uk as they coordinate thefts for each county and offer advice and support.

Microchipping Dogs: As of 16th April 2016, it is compulsory for owners to ensure their dog is microchipped. If your dog isn’t microchipped and registered on an approved database then you could be served with a notice ordering you to microchip your dog.

You’ll have 21 days to do so or you may be liable to pay a £500 fine and could face criminal prosecution. If your contact details change and you don’t update your details on the database, then you could also receive a notice and may be liable to pay a fine of £500.

A dog is only exempt from being microchipped if a vet certifies in writing that they cannot be microchipped for health reasons.

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