A bad economy and chronic unemployment have prompted people to do some shady things for cash, but stealing someone’s pet for resale has to be the lowest. Unfortunately, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), dog thefts are on the rise, up approximately 67 percent from last year.
Pets Have Been Stolen From Cars and Homes
“We are getting reports almost daily of pets stolen during home invasions, out of parked cars while people are running errands and even snatched from dog lovers out for a walk in the park,” said AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson.
In a press release issued recently, the AKC announced that according to the data collected by the Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) National Pet Theft Database, approximately 224 pet thefts were reported stolen this year so far, as compared to 150 during the same 7 months last year.
Pets are stolen from cars, unattended front yards, home break-ins, and in front of businesses where the dog had been left tied.
“We’ve even seen a new trend of dogs being stolen from shelters and adoption events for the first time this year,” Peterson added.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Although the AKC press release details a number of excellent ways to prevent your pet from being stolen, protect your dog by paying attention, using common sense and following these tips:
- Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. In many states it’s now illegal to do so, even when it isn’t hot out.
- Never leave your dog by himself in your front yard where anyone passing by could grab him.
- Never leave your dog tied outside a store, even if you can see him at all times.
- Never walk your dog off-leash. It doesn’t matter how well he’s trained or how much you trust him. You never know what’s going to spook him, and if he isn’t on a leash, he could bolt in any direction.
Don’t Miss: How Does a Dog Microchip Work?
Do these things:
- When you leave home, make sure your dog is secured in the house. Even the most challenging fences can be scaled by a dog thief if the prize is a $4,000 purebred.
- Keep a lost dog flyer on hand so you can print it out and post it as soon as you realize your pet is missing. You’ll only lose precious time if the worst happens and you have to create it on the spot.
- Microchip your pets. According to Peterson, the best thing you can do to ensure your pet’s safety is getting him microchipped and keeping your contact information up-to-date.
Watch this video to learn more about microchipping your pet:
Microchipping Can Help You Find a Stolen Pet
“Fortunately, we have also seen recoveries of stolen pets because of their microchips, which permanently identify them with their owners,” said Peterson. “A simple scan at the shelter or vet’s office and the true identity of the real owner can be found by calling the pet recovery service.”
If your dog is stolen, call your local animal shelter as soon as possible to alert them to the theft. You might also want to call your local police station (not 911) and report the theft. For more information about the Companion Animal Recovery program, visit akccar.org.