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Dog Theft

We have been asked to circulate this advice by Lothian & Borders Police in response to this topic cropping up in social media and other online discussion forums.


There have been numerous enquiries  received by the Police recently from members of the public concerned about stories appearing in Social Media regarding the theft of dogs.

While thousands of dogs are lost or stolen every year in the UK, there have only been 20 incidents of dog theft reported in The City Of Edinburgh in the past six months.  The vast majority of these have been of a minor, easily resolved nature.

While it seems that dog theft is not a major crime in the City, it is sensible to take reasonable precautions to prevent your pet being stolen:

  • Make sure that your dog wears a collar and ID tag. Include your telephone number and postcode.
  • Microchip your dog so that it is permanently identifiable should the collar and ID tag be removed.  Your vet can arrange this for you.
  • Do not leave your dog tied up outside a shop or unattended in a car.
  • Keep all documentation relating to your dog in a safe place, and include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog. Also make a note of any unusual markings.
  • Make sure that your dog does not go out of sight on walks. Vary your walk times and routes.
  • Be cautious when you invite people into your home to view dogs or puppies for sale.
  • Make sure that your dog is neutered as this will reduce the chances of theft for breeding.

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