I am starting to hear local cases of dog walkers being followed and being asked questions about their dogs while out walking, even some people trying to snatch dogs from gardens while dogs are out doing their business.
Recent national scam protection TV programmes are suggesting that drug dealers are using some of their ill gotten gains across into setting up breeding centres, as the price of puppies has shot through the roof during lockdown, some costing as much as £4000.
This sort of income, with practically no risk of police intervention, is a safer option while lockdown is in operation, with less massed groups of people being seen on the streets, and a drugs drop now a stand out activity.
So, my advice, sadly from a non animal owner, but thinking as a criminal would –
- Vary any walking route so that you cannot be timed, followed, have someone hidden ready to snatch a dog.
- Vary your walking times during the day if possible – much harder to establish an owner’s routine if it changes.
- Try to avoid lonely areas if walking alone – woods, tree lined avenues, cut through pathways etc. they will probably come in numbers, not alone.
- If you have a female dog, always be ready to say if approached and asked that they have been sterilised, as the thieves want female dogs for breeding purposes – worth more to them over a time period.
- Take a mobile phone with you and have a speed dial number ready if approached by anyone suspicious – tell people where you are walking, so they know where to look for you.
- If approached, and safe to do so, try to take a snapshot of those asking pertinent questions about your dog – they won’t waste time on non fertile female dogs.
Stay safe when out with your family pet(s). Do not put yourself in any danger.