Although we may 'bang on' about various things and give good advice and warnings, people always seem to believe it will never happen to them and ignore everything they hear until they also become a victim - it's someone else's problem and nothing to do with me seems to be the attitude.
Perhaps reading about other people experiences may help so here are a couple of examples If you have a story about the successful or attempted theft of your dog - Send it to us in an e.mail
As I was browsing your site, I found the warnings about thieves and I thought I'd better warn you about something that I came across in Blackpool.
My husband and have a Border Collie called Tyke, we previously lived near Blackpool and regularly took Tyke into town with us in the winter.
In mid November last year my husband tied Tyke (then aged 3) up outside a military surplus shop. I was not there at the time. Literally within seconds of going through the door a man untied him.
He was white, about 5 ft 10, in his 30's with short dark hair and a London accent. My husband (who's called Stan) ran out to confront the thief- the exchange went something like this just with more swearing...
Stan- Oi what do you think you're doing?
Thief- Taking my dog home.
Stan- That's MY dog, let go of him now.
Thief- Nah- it's MY dog yeah what's to stop me just running off with it?
Stan- Because if you try it I'll break both your legs.
Thief- Not if you don't catch me! [Laughed and started to move off]
Stan- You don't wanna find that out. [Picked up heavy object]
Tyke- [now pulling hard toward Stan]
Stan- He wont go with you anyway.
Thief- [looked at Tyke for a moment, dropped the lead and walked off]
About an hour later I was followed by 2 other men as I walked through town with Tyke on his lead.
Stan was at some distance behind me.
Stan caught up and I passed him Tyke to walk, the men slowed right down and changed direction. I was not carrying a handbag and it was in a fairly busy main shopping street at 3pm.
My feeling was that they were interested in taking Tyke, not the more usual crimes.
We later saw the man who had untied Tyke and the 2 who had followed us together in a side street with another 2, they seemed to be discussing routes around Blackpool.
We did not report it to the police as we were just glad not to have lost our boy, and besides there was no crime successfully committed. In hindsight it may have been best to inform the police so that they were aware of potential criminal activity to be watched for.
We later spoke to various friends who confirmed they had similar experiences with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a West Highland Terrier.
The only thing I can think of that connects the 3 dogs is that they are all obviously young and good examples of their breed. Tyke is smaller than an average male (19 kilo's) as he is the runt and is short coated so he does look younger than he is.
We both feel that what we experienced was an organised gang of dog thieves looking to take valuable animals for to sell them, not to ransom them.
I hope that your website will be able to make dog-owners aware of this type of activity, please let me know if there are any other organisations who can help to prevent this horrible crime.
Phoebe had been missing from a small wooded area just near our house since Tuesday 1st March 2005.
We had no concrete sightings or any information till Monday 7th March when my husband received a text message whilst at work. It read;
' I think I have your dog, I bought her on Saturday (5th March) from "some lads" would you be willing to pay me the money back I paid for her?'
My husband said 'yes' How much and what's your address?
She was very reluctant to give out her address and was just asking for £35 she paid for Phoebe + costs.
A few text messages went on and she would not give her address or any details on who sold her.
So I got her number and tried ringing and nobody answered. I then sent a message begging and she replied asking me to meet her at a local shop. I did and she took me to a house where Phoebe was, safe and well.
I handed her over £50 and all I asked her was who she bought Phoebe off and would she recognise them? She said she wouldn't remember them. I was so overjoyed to have my dog back I didn't care.
My husband returned from work later that day and although thrilled to have Phoebe back he wasn't to impressed with the story!
The story about Phoebe's disappearance was very suspect.
My Husband is going to the local Police station to inform them on what happened.
Everybody thinks there was no sale and the person who contacted us had her all along. I just acted quickly to get her back!
I didn't ask her the in's and out's.