A SPATE of dog thefts across the borough has sparked a new police campaign in a bid to keep the pets safe.

Barnsley officers have urged owners to remain vigilant and follow police advice in how to look after your pooch following increased numbers of dog thefts over the Christmas period.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “We know there has been lots in the news about dog theft recently, especially after so many people have acquired a new family member in lockdown.

“We have sadly seen a rise in reports of thefts over the last few months, especially just before Christmas.

“We thought we’d share a couple of tips to read and share with the doggo owners in your life.

“Make sure you dog is wearing a collar and an ID tag when in public place, this is now required by law.

“Don’t allow strangers to have their photograph taken with your dog.

“Ensure your garden or yard is secure and check it regularly. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out.

“Keep all documentation relating to your dog in a secure and safe place. Include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog plus any unusual markings.

“Beware of strangers who show interest in your dog.”