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 http://www.crimestoppers.com.au