Gundog Theft Awareness Week - This coming October 31st - November 7th

Victim Support

What should I do if my dog is stolen?

We believe at PTA that it is not what should you do if you’re dog is stolen but what you should do BEFORE your dog is stolen. Do it NOW before it’s too late. We recommend that you carry at all times in your mobile phone an “In Case of Emergency” contact list and put the following numbers into it:

  • The local police phone number -101
  • DogLost phone number – 0844 800 3220
  • Your dog’s microchip number
  • The telephone number of six friends or relatives that can help in case of emergency
  • Your dog’s microchip registration company’s phone number.(Petlog, Anibase, Pettrac or Petprotect)
Have at all times a recent photo of your dog in your mobile phone. Other information you can store in your phone as a secondary list are the telephone numbers of the following:
  • Local dog warden/ Local Council
  • Holding kennel
  • Local rescues
  • Your vet
  • Nearest ports
You need to phone them as soon as possible.

If your dog is stolen you need to act fast and contact DogLost*. They will need a photo, the microchip number and a description of your dog with its distinctive identity to generate your poster. The sooner you contact them the sooner you get your poster.

If your dog is stolen whilst you are out walking, it is important that you take photos of the surrounding area and where possible pictures of vehicles and number plates. When you receive the poster this can be distributed around the area where the dog has gone missing and put in vets, shops, rescue centres, etc. You should also use social media and at the same time, build an army of people to help you poster, etc. If possible get A5 leaflets printed and hand them out at supermarkets, football grounds and wherever there are groups of people also at the scene of the crime. 5000 can cost as little as £50

Remember as thieves often work in gangs and move in and out of areas your dog may be quickly transported elsewhere so national organisations are of importance and you should have a contact list to hand. These can be found on websites like Pet Theft Awareness. Each day the net should be widened. There are no golden rules which can be applied if your dog is stolen or goes missing that will guarantee its return. In many cases it is effort and persistence and above all luck that will find your dog. The sad fact is that 54% of dogs that go missing remain missing after 12 months.

*DogLost is the premier reunification service in the country. It has automated alerts and poster generation and is supported by a network of volunteers who offer advice and support on the ground. Its service is entirely FREE to owners of missing dogs.

Are there particular times of year/places/instances when dogs are more likely to be stolen?

Dog theft is an all year round crime and is nationwide. Whether there are greater black spots in one area or another is difficult to establish because some police forces are very active when it comes to dog theft and with others there is a lack of statistics.

Where do thefts occur?

  • 52% are taken from the garden.
  • 19% from breaking and entering into home.
  • 16% from owners whilst walking dogs
  • 7% when tied up outside a shop.

Source: Dr Louise Grove criminologist Loughborough University. [

What are the preferred breeds?

  1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  2. Border Collie
  3. Cocker Spaniel
  4. Jack Russell
  5. Chihuahua
  6. Lurcher
  7. Labrador


If your breed is not listed here does not mean that you should be complacent and think it won’t happen to you. It just could!!