North Yorkshire Police say there has been 13 reports of dog thefts in the county since October 1.
The force has released the figures for dog theft this week while also urging the public not to be fearful for their own pet’s safety as they say thefts are still rare.
Senior officers are also urging the public to be cautious when reading and sharing posts on social media about thefts as “some issues may not be as they appear”.
A police spokesperson said: “We have heard reports of dog owners taking weapons on daily walks and we strongly advise against doing so.
“Carrying a weapon is illegal and could result in injury to yourself and/or others.
“If you see anything suspicious or experience anything which you are worried about then be assured we are here to help so please call 101 to report any concerns.”
A six-year-old female cocker spaniel Lassie was taken from her pen in a back garden in Allen Grove, Stokesley, on July 28 last year.
CCTV footage shows three suspects in what is believed to be a white Volkswagen, possibly a Tiguan, steal the dog.
Two dogs were also stolen from Scorton in November.
The two springer spaniel bitches called Poppy and Meg were taken during the night.
- In 2021 so far we have had 11 dog theft incidents reported.
- In July – September 2020 we had 10 dog theft incidents reported. To put this in context over that same 3 month period we had 3,002 general theft offences reported in total.
- From 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020 – 18 dog theft incidents were reported to North Yorkshire Police.
- From 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 – 25 dog theft incidents were reported to North Yorkshire Police.
Police say there are a number of steps you can take to help safeguard your dog:
- Ensure your pet is microchipped – if your dog runs off and it is found, you can be easily traced as its owner. If your dog is stolen, when it is taken to the vets, they will discover that the dog is chipped and you will be identified as its rightful owner.
- Don’t leave dogs unattended in the street, however small and friendly the community.
- Don’t leave your dog alone in a car – particularly when the weather starts to warm up.
- Don’t overshare on social media, ensure your privacy settings are secure and don’t share details about your home address or regular walking routes.
- Ensure your garden is secure and don’t leave them alone for long periods of time.
- If you keep them outside, make sure your property and kennels are secure.
- Always keep them on a lead when walking near roads.
- Ensure your dog is fully trained to come back to you before you let it off the lead.
- Don’t allow your dog to run free near farm animals – we regularly deal with reports of livestock being killed or seriously injured as a result of dog attacks in North Yorkshire and it is vital that owners keep their pets under control at all times.
Police have urged the public to report any suspicious activity or dog thefts by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.