POLICE officers across the borough want to reassure residents that investigations are underway on reports linked to dog theft as concerns continue to grow.

Since July 2020, the force have recorded 63 investigations in which a dog has been taken in the region.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “We know there is a great deal of concern about dog theft, nationally and locally, and we want to reassure you that investigations are ongoing.

“We understand how important dogs are to their families and know the impact this type of crime can have.

“We want to reassure you that we, like other forces across the country, are actively carrying out enquiries linked to dog theft and attempted dog theft.

“Please remain vigilant and report any incidents to us, as well as anyone you see acting in a suspicious manner. We will continue to act on this information.

“We’d also like you to tell us about any adverts you see regarding dogs for sale locally where information appears unusual or limited.

“Never leave your pet tied up unattended, for example, outside shops.

“Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag when in a public place, as you are now required to do by law.

“This should include your surname, telephone number, address and full post code and if there’s room, put ‘microchipped’ on the tag if your dog has a chip.

“Ensure your dog can be permanently identified by its microchip and check with your vet every year that details are up to date.

“If you believe your dog has been stolen always report it to the police via 101 and also report it to your local authority’s dog warden service, local vets and rescue centres.

“If your dog is microchipped, report it to the microchip company and register it as lost or stolen. This will give you a better chance of being reunited with it if it is found.”