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It's heartbreaking to lose a beloved dog as a result of an accident or natural cause, but to have one's family pet stolen by dognappers can be considered, by some, a far more cruel fate, given the premeditated, criminal intent behind it. It's something that no animal lover would wish on anyone, yet it happens with unnerving frequency to pet owners both in the U.S. and abroad. According to the American Kennel Club, dognappings in the States increased a whopping 70% from 2012 to 2013, and 33% from 2013 to 2014, and the number continues to rise. The typical motivation for the crime? Financial gain. Many stolen dogs are held for ransom or resold to breeders and other people searching for a pet, in addition to other even more sinister reasons, which I'd rather not mention here. (If you'd like to know, however, a quick Google search will quickly yield some rather disturbing information, such as found here.)
To ensure that your dog doesn't end up in the clutches of pet thieves, it's important to know which breeds are targeted most frequently (so you can be on high-alert if your dog belongs to one of them), and the safety measures you should take to deter would-be dognappers from absconding with your precious pup.
Breeds Most Commonly Stolen
If your furry family member belongs to one of the following breeds, take extra precautions to keep them safe and secure. A majority of these breeds can be resold for relatively large sums of money (between $1000 - $4000), making them prime targets for criminals.
• Yorkshire Terrier
• German Shepherd
• French Bulldog
• Pit Bull
• Labrador Retriever
Don't Let It Happen To Your Dog!
No corners should be cut whenever it comes to keeping your fur kids safe from harm, so we encourage you to read (and heed!) the following advice.
Keep your dog in the home, NOT out in the yard - Though many people think it's perfectly safe to keep their dogs penned in a yard when they leave home, this is not advised. However, for those who don't have the option of leaving their dogs indoors, invest in a heavy padlock and a sturdy gate and try to ensure that they're not visible from the street.
Don't leave your dog tied outside of a store - It's an all too familiar sight—a dog tied up outside of a grocery store or cafe while their owner runs in for a "quick" shop or bite. Make no mistake, MANY dogs are stolen because their owners thought that bringing their dog along for a walk while they ran a few errands (which involved leaving their pup tied up in public) was a good idea.
Always know the whereabouts of your dog - Though this is a no-brainer, our busy lives can make it difficult for us to keep track of where our pet is at all times. Be on the lookout whenever you have guests or a service person (such as a plumber or other repair technician) in the home, as your dog can exit the house unnoticed should the door be accidentally left open or ajar while you're busy entertaining or otherwise distracted.
Don't leave your dog alone in the car - We all know (or we SHOULD know) that leaving a dog in a car on a warm day can be deadly. However, leaving a dog alone in a car in any weather is never a good idea—especially if your dog belongs to a frequently stolen breed.
Make your dog easily identifiable - Make sure that your dog ALWAYS has up-to-date identification, whether a tag, tattoo or microchip. Also, ensure that your dog's license remains current.
Keep quiet about your pricey pooch - If you paid lots of money for your pedigreed pup, it's best not to talk about it in public or with strangers. You never know who may be listening in.
By Maya M.