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 :: Caring for your Greyhound
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 :: Security and Missing dogs
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FAQs - Security and Missing dogs

Security/missing dogs

What could be worse than losing your dog? Those who have been through it say it is worse than having a dog die. Prevention is definitely the best policy on this issue.

If your dog is found, the chances of you being reunited are vastly increased if your dog is microchipped or tatooed. The NCDL (at the time of writing this) does cheap microchipping.

Before the event:

  • don't let your dog run loose if you can't rely on his recall (this isn't the end of the world)
  • maintain your garden fence to keep it dog proof
  • ensure you have good photos of your dog
  • do not leave your dog tied up outside shops etc
  • do not leave your dog unattended in a car/van
  • be wary of strangers expressing an interest in your dog
  • if you think you are being followed, don't go straight home

After the event:

  • look everywhere you can
  • get in touch with the local police and dog warden
  • make up posters and post them locally
  • get in touch with LurcherSearch and LostDogs

Ironically despite the number of Greyhounds and lurchers looking for homes, they are probably one of the most stealable types of dogs. This is because they are commonly required for coursing, illegal racing, rabbitting, breeding etc by people who would not be considered by rescue groups as suitable to adopt a dog.

This is not an over-reaction, I hear stories constantly of sight hounds going missing. Often in suspicious circumstances.

Some experiences from the SpeakEasy:

  • Maily in Kent owners have been approached by people of dubious intention and asked if they want to sell their dogs. It has also been reported that youths have been mugging owners and stealing their dogs. Presumably for coursing/racing.

  • I was approached once by a man in a van who screeched to a halt and insisted that Jims was the dog he had lost. I was baffled and told him that no way could it be and it was only later on reading the same sort of stories that I realised what was going on - especially as he seemed to watch where I was going (I just stood and stared at him until he had to drive off and then I made double-sure I wasn't followed home).

  • ...whenever anyone talks about the racing dog they had that was just like him (not as unusual as you think in my part of town!) I make sure to tell them all about his dodgy heart, wrist etc - first making sure I'm not putting off a genuine potential adopter of greyhounds! Also - and I'm sure we all know this - NEVER leave them outside a shop, even for a minute.

  • My husband has just put up a six foot gate with a 12 inch trellis on the top. You can only get through the gate with a yale key. I am very aware that there are people out there that want our dogs. We have a large supply of travellers that make our village their home. Once while walking on our disused airfield , I was asked if I wanted to sell both of my dogs. I was petrified that they would somehow follow me home and take them. I never leave them outside a shop or in my car. I can't imagine the pain you must go through should you lose or have stolen your dogs. Keep them safe.
  • Just a warning to UK folks to be on their guard. There appears to be a gang in the Midlands/North who are stealing dogs. I know of several people's dogs which have been stolen, in daylight, from gardens and even from secure kennel runs.

  • ...From the cases so far, there seems no doubt that they know exactly which dogs they're after, and watch the house extensively to learn the owner's routine before attempting to steal the dogs.

  • Consider microchipping or tattooing if your dog is not already done, so that if it's stolen and dumped it can be identified. Permanent identification is also useful if you ever have to prove to the law that it is indeed your dog after someone has stolen it. Make sure you have good photographs (head shot, side-on standing, etc) that show all your dogs' characteristics clearly, so that you can make a big publicity fuss and make it not worth their while to try to keep the dog. Guard them in your gardens and runs. Watch for suspicious characters.

  • Down here in Dorset this is a major problem to. I have to keep the back gate padlocked because of people showing too much interest in my dogs. I have been asked if people can borrow them for the purpose of rabbiting, coursing, breeding and illegal racing. We also have a lot of gypsies living in the area who have a reputation for stealing greyhounds.

  • I have been approached in the past whilst out with my whippets & lurcher...all bitches. One particular incident sticks in my mind, I was approached by four traveller types who spread out around myself and the dogs. They asked had I bred them, I replied no. They then asked was I going to breed from them, to which I again replied no - adding the lie that they had all been spayed. Whilst this was going on, two of them had circled round behind me only to be met by the lurcher and two of my bolder whippets who told them in dog fashion that their attentions were not welcome! This seemed to disuade them somewhat, but they did follow me for some time, before finally disappearing which was even more scary, as I didn't know where they had gone.

Information provided by contributors to the Speakeasy, and summarised by Jill


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