How Safe Is Your Dog From Dog-Theft?

I don’t even have the heart to add a photo to this post.  A few days ago, there was a spate of dog thefts in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. To say this sickens me is a huge understatement.  Although the reasons for the thefts are unclear, there are often disturbing motives behind these acts.  In many of these cases, pet dogs may be stolen in order to be used as breeding dogs in puppy mills or used in dog-fighting rings. There are some even worse motives (if you can imagine that) but I won’t delve into that here because it is too horrifying.

These dog thefts are happening in suburban Melbourne! I know I shouldn’t ruminate on these things, but I am filled with anxiety about the fate of these dogs.  To keep myself sane, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at ways in which we can keep our dogs safe.

1. Don’t leave your dog in  your car.  

This is a bad idea on many levels (dogs have died of heatstroke in cars, even when you don’t think it’s that hot), but dogs alone in a car are a prime target for thieves.

2.  Do not leave your dog tied to poles outside whilst you shop. 

Theft is one concern. Another is a child going up to the dog and surprising the dog (when the dog then growls or bites, it will be put down).  Some people might be cruel to the dog or taunt the dog. Anything can happen; please avoid doing this.

3.  Ensure your yard is gated properly and secure. 

Better yet, don’t leave your dog unattended in the yard when you’re not at home.  Try and train your dog to be able to stay inside the house when you’re away.  If you’re worried about your dog being destructive inside, consider investing in a crate, which can be a good method of short-term containment of a dog for a couple of hours whilst you’re away.

4. Make sure your dog has all identification tags and paperwork.

Ensure your dog is microchipped, wearing his collar with tags and is registered with the council.

5. Keep recent photos of your dog, in case the worst does happen.

Try to take photos of any identifying features. For instance, Charlie has a white streak of hair on his chest.

6.  Consider installing pet cameras at your home to keep an eye on things when you’re not there.

Do you have any other tips?  Let’s add to this list to keep every dog safe.

If anyone has information on the dog thefts in Melbourne, please contact:

 Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit

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4 thoughts on “How Safe Is Your Dog From Dog-Theft?

  1. After seeing a bunch of dog thefts listed on fb, I’m afraid to leave my dog out in the yard alone. Great post. I’m going to share this one!

    • Thank you. I didn’t realise it was such a big problem. I haven’t seen any official statistics, but one website quoted tens of thousands of dogs get stolen every year in the UK. I haven’t addressed the psychological impact on the dog-owner of having their dog stolen; but I would be completely traumatised by something like that.

  2. Great post! I can’t believe people even entertain the option of #2 or #3. Also, we have about 1,438,769 photos of Juno, so our bases are covered when it comes to #5! But all jokes aside, this is really valuable information. Thank you for getting this message out!

  3. Thanks! Where I live, you see dogs tied up to poles outside shops all the time. I once saw a chowchow outside a shop. This little girl and her dad were passing by and the girl said ‘daddy can I pat the dog?” (the owner was nowhere to be seen). Daddy said “of course” . She ran up to the dog, surprising it, and patted it quite vigorously. The dog stiffened up. The dad did not know how to read the body language. I was about to go up and advise him to back up from the dog, when the dog let out a deep growl. That was when they made a quick exit. This situation could have escalated rapidly. Next thing you know, there would be reports all over the media about how dangerous chows are. It’s so sad and so easily preventable.

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