Posted on: 16th April 2024


Attention, dog owners! It's time to address a concerning trend sweeping the UK: the rise in dog thefts. This isn't just another statistic; it's a serious issue that's hitting too close to home for many pet parents. 

According to recent police data, dog thefts surged by 6% last year, totalling at least 2,290 cases. What's even more distressing is that only one in six stolen dogs were reunited with their owners. This highlights the urgent need for preventive measures to counteract this alarming trend.

Which breeds are at the highest risk? English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and XL Bulldogs are among the most frequently targeted by thieves, often fetching prices of up to £3,000 on the black market. 

With this alarming trend, it’s really important to review and implement a range of simple steps to protect our furry friends from falling victim to these criminals. 


Here's a rundown of expert-recommended tips to help you keep your dog safe:

Microchip Identification: Ensure your dog is microchipped and keep the information up to date. This not only complies with the law but also increases the chances of being reunited with your pet if they go missing.

Use Theft Prevention Devices: Consider investing in anti-theft leads, collars, or harnesses reinforced with stainless steel. GPS trackers can also be invaluable in monitoring your dog's whereabouts.

Avoid Leaving Dogs Unattended: Thieves often prey on dogs left tied up outside shops or restaurants. Additionally, never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, especially during warm weather.

Secure Your Home and Garden: Implement security measures such as high fencing and lockable gates to deter thieves from accessing your property. Regularly inspect your garden for potential escape routes.

Exercise Caution on Social Media: Refrain from sharing your location when posting about your dog on social media. Be mindful of the information you disclose, as it could be exploited by thieves.

Train for Recall: Teach your dog reliable recall commands to ensure they return to you promptly when called. Stay vigilant during walks and keep your dog close if you notice any suspicious activity.

Vet Dog Care Providers: Before entrusting your dog to a caregiver, conduct thorough research and request proof of insurance. Choose reputable services with positive reviews from other pet owners.

Stay Informed: Stay connected with local pet communities or forums to stay abreast of any suspicious activities in your area. This network can be invaluable in sharing information and support.


If you find yourself facing the devastating situation of having your beloved pet stolen, there are several immediate steps you can take to increase the chances of a safe return:

Report the Theft: Contact the police as soon as possible to report the theft. Provide them with as much information as you can, including details about your dog's appearance, microchip number and any distinguishing features.

Notify Microchip Database: Inform the microchip database provider about the theft and ensure that your contact details are up to date. This will enable them to flag your dog as stolen, making it easier for them to be identified if found.

Spread the Word: Use social media and local community networks to spread the word about your missing dog. Share clear photos and descriptions of your pet, along with relevant details about when and where they were last seen.

Contact Local Shelters and Vets: Reach out to local animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and rescue organisations to inform them about the theft. Provide them with a description of your dog and ask them to keep an eye out for any animals matching that description.

Monitor Online Platforms: Keep an eye on online marketplaces and social media groups where stolen pets may be advertised for sale. If you come across any suspicious listings, report them to the platform and inform the police.

Stay in Touch with Authorities: Stay in regular contact with the police and provide them with any new information or leads that may arise. Follow up on the progress of their investigation and provide assistance wherever possible.

Consider Offering a Reward: Offering a reward for information leading to the safe return of your dog may incentivise individuals to come forward with information. Be cautious when offering a reward and ensure that any transactions are conducted safely.

Seek Support: Reach out to organisations that specialise in helping owners of stolen pets, such as DogLost in the UK ( They can provide guidance, support, and resources to assist you in your search efforts.

Take Care of Yourself: Dealing with the theft of a beloved pet can be incredibly distressing. Remember to take care of yourself emotionally and seek support from friends, family, or professional counsellors if needed.


dog theft alert

PCS Online - Dignified Pet Cremation Services for your beloved pet

Our Pet Crematoriums

PCS provide caring and professional pet cremation services throughout the UK. Find your nearest pet crematorium or pet cemetery.

Find a Crematorium

Our Services

PCS provides a full service covering all your needs at this difficult time, including individual cremations and farewell rooms.

Explore Our Services


Express your thoughts, memories and love for your pet companion with our online remembrance book.

Remember Your Pet

Pet Memorials

View our selection of pet memorials, paw print kits, gifts & keepsakes, caskets & urns.

Our Pet Memorial Range