Dog thefts in Ireland: Shocking methods used by heartless dognappers to mark homes for their next potential victims

The DSPCA has warned that there has been a rise in the number of canine thefts especially involving medium-sized dogs
Heartless thugs are using a number of ways to mark potential homes to steal pets as a scourge of dog thefts has taken over Ireland.

Worried pet owners have shared warning signs on social media in a bid to keep their pooches safe from being snatched.

The DSPCA has warned that there has been a rise in the number of canine thefts especially involving medium-sized dogs.

Spokeswoman Gillian Bird said: “Recently we have seen a lot of reports for the medium-sized dogs, which is very interesting. We have seen reports for cocker spaniels and springer spaniels.”

She told the Jennifer Zamparelli show on 2FM: “We haven’t seen that many reports for things like chihuahuas and shih tzus but I think that’s more probably because they are always with their owners, whereas some of the medium-sized and bigger dogs are often out in back gardens or when they are out for walks they are allowed go off further and away from their owner than the smaller little than what I often sometimes call them handbag dogs would be.”

A concerned pet owner in Balbriggan has issued a warning after finding a suspicious stick placed upright in his garden.

He said on Facebook: “I believe they are marking houses and later come with a van to take them.

“I found this upright in the garden this morning. Check your gardens for similar markings if you have a dog as they may be back to our estate for dogs soon.”

A warning message was sent to residents of the Ballyboughal area urging locals to report any suspicious activity or any findings of the pieces of colourful string to Gardai.

The act of tying the ribbons to gates and fences near the homes is a known marking sign for thieves which helps remind them of what houses can potentially be broken into.

In Co Limerick, a resident found her fence being marked with black marker. There were three marks- two big and one small. 

Another Limerick local spotted a screw nailed to the fence and said her house had been previously marked with cable ties.

A person up in the north in Co Tyrone shared a picture of a blue zip tie attached to cables coming out of their front door.

Another dog owner said their neighbour claimed they saw a drone appear over their garden with the camera moving around before it sped off. 

A Co Mayo resident woke up to suspicious chalk markings on the gate pillars of his house.

In Waterford a woman came home to find  a plain white sticker on her window, a line of rocks outside the front gate, and her wheelie bin marked with white paint.

Luckily her dogs were safe indoors at the time.

A Co Galway resident shared how a white transit van pulled up to their home and drew an asterisk on their wall.

A Co Carlow man found a blue dot painted on his wall which he fears may have been done by dog snatchers.