With Dog thefts on the increase across the country never has there been a more important time to look at the security measures that you can put in place to keep you dogs safe. Every week we are hearing reports of dogs stolen from kennels or from vehicles, and the stress and worry of having a beloved pet taken from you must be tantamount to torture.
With dogs have turning up hundreds of miles away from their homes, some have even reappeared after being missing for years, but even worse some have never been seen again.
So what can you do?
If you a building new kennels think hard about where you site them. Try to keep them within eyesight and earshot of your house. Think of what security measures you can put in place to deter would be thieves. Do not make it easy for them, some thefts will be opportunistic but but others will be pre planned so you will need to make your property unattractive as a target.
If you are looking at securing an existing block of kennels, then look at your access points, where and how are thieves going to access you property, look at what measures you can put in place to make them think that entering your premises may not be a good thing.
Motion sensor lighting or alarms can be invaluable as a deterrant, though where you set them up can be critical, you dont want the light coming on everytime Fido sticks his big wet nose into the outside run.
Make sure you illuminate the access points, thieves do not like being seen especially where there is a chance they may be caught on camera and recognised. so give careful consideration to where you put lights, think about if you can site a light in a way that it illuminates an area in-front of a security camera, making any images captured clearer than if the just the infrared element of the camera was used?
Security cameras come in all different shapes, sizes, quality and price. There are some really good cameras out there that will not break the bank and they do not need to be fitted by a professional installer, a basic knowledge of DIY will suffice. Try to fit them where, firstly, they cannot be tampered with, so high enough up that they cannot be reached, secondly, where they are easily seen, just the sight of the camera may be enough to make the would be thief think again. In this digital age most camera now come with a live streaming function that allows you to keep an eye on your property from anywhere in the world in real time.
Signage is another tool to help ward off thieves. Sited in a prominent place, and certainly at would be access points to advertise the fact that you have a CCTV system in place. Again just the knowledge that they could be caught on camera maybe enough of a deterrent to stop bad from happening.
Make sure that all of the doors into your kennels are lockable, no lock would ever stop a determined thief, but it will slow them down. they will also have to bring specialist equipment with them to cut or break the lock, which will inevitably make a noise, again this scenario will be less appealing for the thief.
When your dogs are in a vehicle, during or after a shoot day
It is important to remember that a big proportion of dogs are taken out of vehicles after a shoot day, so be extra vigilant if you have to leave them whilst you are having a meal in a pub after a shoot. Always lock the vehicle if you have to leave your dogs unattended and if they are in a dog box, always lock that too.
If the dogs are in a pickup or a similar type car that can be accessed from the rear of the vehicle, try to reverse your car up to a wall or other unmovable object which will stop the tailgate being opened. Also try and park under a street light or a similar well lit area that can be seen easily.
Though it is very nice to post pictures of your dogs on social media think about if you need to tell people you do not know that you have a dog at home. If you have a litter of pups be careful how you advertise them
If you are unlucky enough to have your dogs stolen, ring the police then after that you must then get it into the public domain as soon as possible, use social media and specialist websites to make your dog to hot to handle.