Pet theft epidemic can be tackled with tech
As new statistics reveal pet theft is on the rise again, Aquarium Software says advances in technology can help deter this crime and bring those responsible to justice - as well as being a key tool in the ongoing fight against pet insurance fraud and illegal puppy farmers.
Latest figures from police forces in England and Wales show nearly 2,000 stolen dogs were reported in 2017 – 121 more than the previous year. Despite the introduction of compulsory microchipping in 2016, many owners still do not chip, while fewer still take steps to insure their pets against theft and injury.
“Used correctly, technology can be an important ally in the battle against pet theft, fraud and illegal puppy farmers,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese.
“Microchipping can be vital to prove a dog is in fact yours and make it harder for thieves to pass off a stolen pet to unsuspecting buyers. The rise in theft of certain breeds may be no accident, as moves are now underway to crack down on illegal puppy farms,” added Mark.
Colonnese argues for the use of tech to enable the six approved microchipping bodies; (plus vets; insurers; police; and other authorities), to work in partnership as one united force against dog theft, fraud and illegal breeding.
The power to share real time information effectively is now available, and there’s no reason not to use technology to its best effect, says Colonnese:
“While those convicted of stealing a dog can face seven years in prison, this is hardly a consolation if your beloved pet is taken,” added Mark.
“Aquarium pointed out in 2016 that a central pet register would be a good idea and this remains our view; even more so in light of the alarming rise in pet theft. Seeing a dog in the same way as a stolen laptop or phone is not the correct approach and we need to pursue these crimes more vigorously.
Tech is a great way to do so, without putting further strain on stretched resources.
YouGov research shows that 69 per cent of us see our pets as just as important to the family as humans, but we need to back this up this sentiment with action – by microchipping our pets and investing in insurance,” concluded Mark.