Concerns over pet thefts lead to new ‘Protect your Pooch’ campaign in Sussex

Growing concerns over pet thefts have led to the launch of a new ‘Protect your Pooch’ campaign.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 1:29 pm

It is organised by Neighbourhood Watch and is being backed by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

The campaign is currently running on social media until May 30 and people can download a campaign pack from www.ourwatch.org.uk.

Those who do not use social media can support the campaign by displaying a poster in their community, or attending an online dog theft webinar on May 27 at 5pm.

Protect your Pooch

Katy Bourne is one of the guest speakers at the webinar and others will include members of the Metropolitan Police and Crimestoppers.

People can book their place at ourwatch.org.uk/webinars.

The Protect your Pooch campaign encourages people to keep their pets secure, in sight and searchable, and to help make pet theft a specific offence.

Earlier this year Katy Bourne launched a national survey to understand the public’s perception of dog theft.

She said that pet theft, particularly dog theft, was a growing concern for the public after some ‘shocking reports’ of dogs being taken by criminals.

Demand for dogs as pets increased during the pandemic with the cost of some puppies reaching thousands, making them valuable to criminals.

After the survey Katy Bourne urged dog walkers not to be fearful to go out with their pets.

“There are a lot of precautions you can take,” she said, advising people to keep their dogs on a short lead.

She also advised people to be aware of the environment they are walking in.

“I don’t want people to be frightened to go out and walk their dog because actually the whole point of having a dog is to give you that companionship and pleasure,” she said.

More information on the Protect your Pooch campaign can be found on www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch.