Prevent Your Dog From Being Stolen

According to the AKC, dog thefts are at an all-time high today. Dogs are stolen for all kinds of reasons: because they’re cute; to resell them, especially if they’re puppies or Toy dogs; for dog fighting; and the list goes on. There’s a surprising trade in dogs stolen out of people’s yards and sent to rescues today, then sold to the public as rescue dogs. These dogs might end up hundreds or thousands of miles from home because of rescue transports. It can be very hard to find your dog if he’s stolen.

Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to help prevent your dog from being stolen.

At Home

Don’t let your dog off leash or leave him unattended. Keep an eye on your dog at all times. Know where he is and what he’s doing. Of course, it’s not possible to watch your dog every minute. None of us can do that. But don’t let your dog off leash unless you can watch him. Otherwise he might wander away or take off running out of sight. Even when your dog is at home in your yard, check on him frequently. Put a lock on your gate. Make sure that your fences are secure so your dog is less likely to escape. Do keep your dog contained at home and don’t let him wander or roam.

Use Identification. If your dog does get out, make sure he’s wearing a collar with his identification and rabies tags. While a collar can be removed if your dog is stolen, a microchip is permanent. Use a microchip ID for your dog. If your dog is found by an animal shelter or taken to the vet, they have scanners that can pick up the microchip and you can be notified that your dog has been found. You can also use a tattoo for permanent identification.

Breeders should be cautious of buyers visiting their homes. People posing as potential buyers in various cities have stolen dogs and puppies. Be cautious when allowing someone to come to your home. In other cases, homes have been robbed when the breeder was away.

 

When Traveling

Never leave your dog unattended in the car. Dogs have been stolen out of vehicles even if the vehicle is locked.

Don’t tie your dog outside a store or other building. This is a common practice in some big cities like New York but many dogs are stolen this way.

Be watchful. Even when you are in dog-friendly places, keep an eye out for the people and things around you. And watch your dog.

Recovering Your Dog

Make sure you keep your Microchip ID information current. Contact your ID carrier to let them know your dog is missing.

Contact animal control and the police. Contact other pet shelters and rescues in your area.

Have a current photo of your dog. Make fliers and have them ready to go so you can paper the area.

Talk to postal carriers, Fedex, UPS people, school bus drivers, and anyone who knows the neighborhood. They see more than anyone else. Go door to door and talk to neighbors. Talk to convenience store clerks. Talk to everyone.

Check with shelters and rescues everyday. Visit in person. Calling is ineffective.

If you follow these precautions and take these steps, you can prevent your dog from being stolen.

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