After a huge rise in the number of dogs being stolen during the pandemic, a Sheffield resident has come up with the idea of adopting a referee’s whistle as a universal distress call for dog walkers who are threatened by dog thieves
The woman made the suggestion on social media after vulnerable dog walkers say they are scared to walk their pets in case they are stolen from them.
She said : “The sound of a referees whistle (or similar) is an uncommon sound in any neighbourhood.
"Why don’t we make the sound of a whistle a dog walker in distress call!
"If all dog walkers carried a whistle and in the event of an attempted theft or threat sounded their whistle anyone in the immediate vicinity could assist but we need to get the whole community dog and non dog owners on board.”
South Yorkshire Police have confirmed dog thefts have risen over the last few months and social media sites have been flooded with reports of alleged incidents and suspicious people and vehicles said to be prowling the streets.
Dog owners across South Yorkshire have expressed concerns about dog thefts after a woman was dragged from her car by a man who tried to steal her pet pooch in Sheffield.
Another heartbroken man said he was held at knifepoint as thieves stole a brood of puppies.
One woman has posted on a number of sites with claims that three dogs were recently stolen at gunpoint in Sheffield.
But as yet South Yorkshire Police has not shared details of any dog thefts reported since the attempted dognapping near Crystal Peaks.
Police advice to owners includes never leaving your dog tied up unattended, ensuring your pet is microchipped and the registered details are up to date, and not allowing strangers to have their photo taken with your dog.
Dog walkers have been advised not to post details online about their pets and walking schedules.