Dog Watch Newsletter

Alert message sent 01/04/2021 10:28:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

This is a Wiltshire Dog Watch newsletter update alert sent from Wiltshire Police.
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You can now report ONLINE -
We would also encourage reporting “attempt dog thefts” so we can take the appropriate action to carry out necessary patrols
Please call 101 or 999 if you have a crime or incident that requires police

Please note replies to this message are not monitored 24/7. If you want to offer information on any of the above or report a crime or incident this must be reported via 101.
You can also visit the Wiltshire Police website and select ‘Report’ to report non-emergency incidents.

Dog Watch

Following the national survey (March 2021) on dog thefts, we would like to reassure you that contrary to public perception dog thefts here in Wiltshire remain low and below the national average. We are aware that the public are sharing incidents on FB but the location is not always disclosed and sometimes causes unnecessary concern especially as some cases are not even in the UK.
Crime Prevention Advice
Dogs are often part of the family and their theft can be distressing for both them and their families. 
Below is our advice on how best to keep your pooch safe.
Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times (your surname, mobile number and address only)
Secure gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock and gate alarm
CCTV, Lighting, Garden Security - Never leave your pet in the garden unattended
Avoid Lone Walking if possible
Driveway alarm -so you are alerted to any intruders, these can also be used in rear gardens/yards
Micro Chip - Make sure your dog is microchipped and their details are updated so that they can be returned if they are stolen and subsequently found.
Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car, even for a few minutes
Take lots of photographs of your dog to prove ownership if it’s stolen, pay particular attention to any distinguishing markings on your dog.
Vary Route - Prevent theft on walks by varying walk times and locations and being suspicious of strangers who ask questions about your dog.   Make a note of any suspicious, loitering vehicles.
If your dog is lost or suspected to have been stolen, it’s important to act quickly.
Report stolen dogs to us via our online report or by calling 101 and to your local council's dog warden. Notify your microchip database provider also.
It’s encouraged you report a stolen dog on or via their Facebook page.
You can also use to report found dogs which may have been missing or stolen. 
Be mindful of posting photos on Facebook as thieves do research here.
Be wary of RSPCA Imposters wearing uniform, ask for ID to confirm if genuine.
Dog Warden – 0300 456 0100
DOG owners are urged to keep their pets on a lead on walks in the countryside while near livestock.
Wiltshire Police say there is an increasing danger as lockdown eases that dogs off the lead will worry sheep and other livestock, which is especially worrying as lambing season is upon us.
Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and the penalty can be six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £1,000.The crime is traditionally thought of as a dog biting or attacking livestock, but it can mean chasing animals in a way that may cause injury or suffering (for ewes, this can mean causing an abortion or fewer offspring to be born)
And it can mean not having a dog on a lead or under close control when close by, or in a field or enclosure with livestock. Sgt Greg Fergusson, Rural Crime Lead at Wiltshire Police, said: “We are asking all dog owners to help us to protect livestock in Wiltshire by putting your dog on a lead.
“It can be traumatic for farmers who have to deal with the aftermath of an incident, not to mention the financial impacts it has. “Whether your dog is large or small, naughty or well behaved, the message is simple: Your dog, your duty. Keep your dog on a lead when you are near livestock.“You can't assume your dog's good nature means it won't chase or attack livestock. If your dog’s natural instinct to chase livestock kicks in it could be too late before you realise anything is wrong.
“The public need to be aware that sometimes when entering a field, you may only be able to see a small part of it. So, you need to be 100% sure before you go in that there are no livestock out of sight, maybe over the brow of a hill. “We want people to be able to enjoy the countryside. If people are out using the public rights of way with a dog, use a bit of common sense. Use a lead if there is livestock around and don’t deviate from the footpaths as potentially, they could be trespassing.”  If you see anything suspicious, call 101 or 999 (in progress) Or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
Message sent by
Tracy Ince (Police, Watch Coordinator, HQ)

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