Dog thefts are up 32 percent this year, according to the American Kennel Club.
From parking lots to pet stores and even backyards, The American Kennel Club® (AKC) reports that dog thefts are on the rise. In 2008, the AKC has tracked more than 65 pet thefts from news and customer reports, versus a handful for all of 2007. Thefts range from tiny puppies being stuffed into purses at pet stores to most recently, purebred pets being snatched from cars in parking lots and shelters. The AKC offers the following advice to prevent your “best friend” from being a target of a crime:
- Don’t let your dog off-leash or unattended in your yard. Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. A Saint Bernard that had wandered away from his owner in Nebraska was snatched up right off the road.
- Breeders need to be aware of home visits by potential puppy buyers. From Yorkies in Los Angeles to Bulldogs in Connecticut, thieves posing as would be “puppy buyers” have visited breeder homes to snatch dogs, while other homes have been burglarized when the owner was away.
On the Road
- Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked.
- Don’t tie your dog outside a store. This popular practice among city dwelling dog owners can be a recipe for disaster. Reports have surfaced of such thefts in Manhattan.
- Be vigilant. Always remain aware of your surroundings when entering or leaving any dog-friendly establishments.
- Protect your dog with microchip identification. Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Keep contact information current with your recovery service provider. For more information and to enroll your pet in a 24 hour recovery service visit www.akcreunite.org
- If you suspect your dog has been stolen. Immediately call the police / animal controland pet shelters in the area your pet was last seen.
- Have fliers with a recent photo ready to go if your dog goes missing. Keep a photo of your dog in your wallet or on an easily accessible web account so that you can distribute immediately if your pet goes missing.
Additional tips on how to protect your dog from theft can be found on the AKC Website at www.akc.org