Derbyshire dog owners warned not to carry weapons to defend themselves against pet thefts
Police in Derbyshire have told pet owners they must not carry weapons to defend themselves from potential dog thefts, after animals have been taken by thieves across the county.
It comes after comments were made by dog owners on social media, saying they would be prepared to start arming themselves with dangerous weapons to fight off any potential thieves who tried to steal their pet.
A number of dogs have been taken from their homes across Derbyshire this year, including eight dachshunds that were stolen from a property in Burton Road, Acresford, near Swadlincote on February 10, of which two have now been found by police.
The “gutted” owner of an adorable Springer Spaniel stolen from his Stanfree home in January also argued officers need to take dog theft “more seriously”, after his seven-year-old pooch Lucky disappeared from his garden on January 12 while he was at work.
But police have urged residents to not ‘run the risk’ of seriously injuring themselves or others by breaking the law and instead report any suspicious behaviour.
In a statement, Derbyshire Constabulary said: “We would also like to reassure residents that reports of dog thefts within Derbyshire thankfully remain very low, but understand just how upsetting and concerning the issue is for dog owners and appreciate that this may be heightened due to increased reporting on social media.
"We are aware that a number of people expressing concerns regarding dog thefts have commented on social media regarding carrying weapons whilst outside of their home.
"People must not carry weapons as not only do they run the risk of seriously injuring themselves or others, it is against the law.
“There are reasonable security measures to prevent thefts and The Blue Cross website has a wide range of advice on how to prevent theft of dogs and steps to take if this happens.
"We would also encourage anyone buying a dog to consider where the pet has come from and to ensure that it is being purchased legally.
“Advice can be found online on the checks you should make before purchasing a new dog or puppy.
“We take all reports of dog theft extremely seriously, and would urge anyone who has been a victim of this to report it to us as soon as possible.”