In the event that your dog is missing for any length of time, you may receive a handful of hoax calls regarding your pet. 

It is important to be aware this can happen and be prepared if it does. 

The Police suggest you do nothing to engage with any potential telephone scam where someone is asking you for money for the safe return of your pet, or information about their whereabouts.

If you are asked for money, make a note of the telephone number which called you and say you will call back. Report all instances of hoax calls to 101.

The following advice is given by to keep these instances to a minimum: 

Use only your first name on posters.

Do not disclose your full address or your street name to any caller.

Do not advertise a reward value on posters – it is okay to say you are offering a reward, but quite often large advertised cash rewards encourage hoax callers and it could put your pet at risk of being stolen in the future.

Do not advertise your pet's microchip number, but of course you should mention on the poster if your pet is chipped. If your pet is not microchipped, it is best to say nothing at all.

If your pet is spayed or castrated, you should include this information, as they cannot be used for breeding and are therefore less attractive to those who may wish to keep them. If your pet is not spayed or castrated, it is best not to mention it.

Where possible, avoid using free-ad websites like Gumtree to advertise missing pets on these types of sites.

Do not state the pedigree information of your pet on your posters or leaflets.