Every dog owner’s worst nightmare is if their dog was to be stolen. However there are many important steps you can take to help if the worst was to happen.
- Check their Microchip details are up to date.
Often animals are found and taken to the vets for their Microchips to be scanned but the details aren’t up to date. So the vets then can’t get in touch to say they have found your lost pet. When you take your pets to the vets for something like annual boosters ask the vets to scan for the chip. This can easily be done and reassures you that the chip hasn’t moved around the body. After that check that whoever their microchip is registered with has all your correct information; your current address and up to date phone numbers etc.
2. Take lots of photos of your pets! It sounds simple but if you need to share missing posters then high quality images are essential for spreading the word so people know what to look for. Any particular features like patterns on the fur or markings. For fluffy dogs have a photo of them when their coat is long as well as when it has been cut short. If the dog was to be stolen whoever has them could easily change their appearance but shaving their fur or letting it grow out – this can make it even trickier for people to recognise them if they’re helping you look.
3. Ensure your dogs have ID tags with your phone numbers on. This will help if they become lost then someone can phone you by reading the number on their tag before taking them to the vets to be scanned. Of course the downside is if they were to be stolen then the thief can simply remove their collar and tag.
Something that a criminal can’t change or remove when they have stolen your dog is their DNA. This is completely unique to your dog, that will never change!
DNA Protected have launched a fantastic new project in collaboration with the Police to store your dog’s DNA so that when they are found they can take a DNA sample and match it with your details on their Foresnsic Dog DNA database – leading to you being reunited with your precious dogs!
It is SO easy to do! You receive a pack in the post with all the kit you need to take a DNA sample from your dog. Unfortunately since the Covid-19 pandemic I’m sure we’re all getting quite good with swabs and self testing kits!
You can buy your own dog DNA sampling kit online at www.dnaprotected.co.uk for £74.99. As well as the testing kit it includes a Car Sticker and Dog tag sharing that your Dogs are DNA protected which could also help deter anyone who sees them.
Firstly you activate your kit online using the unique code it comes with. This adds your address, contact details and information about your dog to the database which can then be linked to the DNA kit when you send it off.
There’s a step by step video on their website which was very easy to follow. You start by swabbing your dogs teeth and gums for 10 seconds. You may need an extra pair of hands to hold the dog whilst you swab but 10 seconds is quick and bearable for the dog. This picks up cells from the inside of their mouth containing their DNA.
Next you press the swab on the pink paper they provide you with to transfer the DNA from the swab to the paper. This should change colour which helps indicate you’ve done it correctly.
Then you label with yours and your dogs details. If like me you are testing multiple dogs I had to make sure both kits were completely separate and done at different times so I didn’t mix the dogs samples up!
Once you’re done you seal up the envelope and post it back. Within a week or so I had received a confirmation email with a certificate of the dog’s DNA profiles which was actually very interesting! I have a personal record and it will now be on their system with both of my dogs details; so should the worst happen then I know the Police can help reunite me with the dogs through the Forensic Dog DNA database.
They also sell a range of branded Dog collars, leads and accessories online to clearly show your dogs are DNA protected and you have taken steps to prevent their theft.
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody and Wilma x
This post is in collaboration with DNA protected.