Since the first lock down the rise in dog ownership has been incredible. From rescue dogs, to puppies it seems that everyone is or has at the very least considered taking on a new member of the family.
Sadly there has been a few that have decided to take advantage of this, and as such dog theft is on the rise. The precise figures of true dog theft aren't currently know, as dogs being dogs, sometimes just get lost, leading their owners to believe they have been stolen. When in fact, naughty Rocky was actually sunbathing in the woods, blissfully unaware of his owners panic.
However with dog theft being a real issue in some cases, it is every dog owner and walkers duty to do their absolute best to ensure their charges are as safe as possible.
With this in mind I wanted to let you know just some of the measures that I have put into place to keep your dogs safe whilst in my care.
Firstly I do carry out a risk assessment on each location when I go for a walk. This includes noting if there has actually been police reports of thefts or attempted thefts in that particular area.
I vary my routine, so there is actually NO routine as to where I walk on each day. I park at different locations, start the walk from different points and take different routes. This also is better for the dogs, as they get to enjoy different walks each time they come out with me. Additionally I do not discuss where I am walking or will be walking with anyone other than the owner if they ask.
Photos, yes I do post photos with owners permissions. But I have a 'beige' photo policy. So I do not tag a location on social media, and I do my absolute best to ensure there are no landmarks or identifying objects in the images. If I have a video or a post where I state were I am, for any reason, it was generally days ago that I was at this location.
I ask all owners to check their harnesses, collars, tags and chips to ensure they fit correctly and the information is up to date. If you are considering a tracker, please do get one, they are great for peace of mind.
Most importantly, I keep my focus on the dogs at all time, after all that is what I am being paid to do. So if I am out walking and don't answer my phone, this is why.
I hope by listing just a few of my measures, it will give you peace of mind, but also an insight into how seriously I take the care of my clients.
Emma - Hoppes Hounds.