Gardaí in Kilkenny are warning dogowners to be careful following the theft of dogs from a premises in Paulstown.
Two terriers were stolen from the property during the burglary which took place overnight on July 6 and 7. Gardaí believe that criminals targeted the property and are warning the public to take extra care.
“Anecdotally it would seem demand for dogs is higher than usual. With this increased demand comes opportunities for criminals to take advantage,” said Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Peter McConnon.
The sergeant also outlined how dogs are stolen for resale, ransom, breeding and fighting.
“Some buyers won’t check a pet’s background before buying a dog, which makes things a lot easier for thieves trying to make a profit.
“A thief can also take advantage of a vulnerable owner that will offer a reward for the safe return of their beloved dog.
“Sadly stolen dogs can be used in puppy farms, where is little or no regard for the health or welfare of the animals involved.
“Finally some dogs will be used as bait for dogfighting, a cruel, sickening and illegal activity,” he added.
Sgt McConnon said that taking simple safety measures can help prevent dog theft.
“The first thing is to be wary of strangers. You might be more than happy to talk about your dog to anyone who asks but be aware and stay vigilant of strangers on your dog walks.
“Be wary of anyone that starts asking for personal information, if you notice a stranger watching you or your dog, or if you see someone acting suspiciously.
“Also don’t be tempted to leave your dog tied outside of a shop or other public spaces, this creates an ideal opportunity for thieves. If you have errands to run, leave your dog at home so that they’re not left outside or take someone with you so that they can be with your pooch and don’t leave your dog unsupervised in the garden, be sure to keep an eye on them at all times.”