Sadly, it appears that pet thefts are on the rise in the UK, with criminals abducting prized dogs and demanding a ransom from the owner.
In order to help combat this problem, the Blue Cross has been issuing advice to pet owners on steps they can take to keep their animals safe.
Firstly, all owners should have their pets microchipped. This enables them to track their animal if and when it goes missing, meaning police can find its location and also arrest the guilty party in the event that your pet is stolen.
All vets offer microchipping and some animal shelters even provide this service for free.
Secondly, owners should think twice before leaving their dogs tied up outside a shop, as this gives thieves an opportunity to strike. Always make sure there is someone around to watch over your pet when left unattended in public.
In addition, owners should keep a close eye on their dogs when let off the lead, especially if they are in an unfamiliar area, as pets can easily be led astray.