Pet Tips

Stolen Dogs and Cats- Pet tip 235

You take your dog on a walk and decide to do a quick errand at the same time. So you tie your dog to a parking sign and go into the grocery store for fifteen minutes. Your dog is well trained so you know it will wait for you patiently; you’ve done this many times before. To your horror, when you come out of the grocery store, your dog is gone. You become anxious and quickly walk all around the perimeter of the store, thinking maybe there is a logical reason for this occurrence and that someone will have your dog. After a few frantic minutes of asking people if they have seen your cute little dog that was JUST tied to the pole minutes ago, you are in shock but you realize what has happened; somebody has stolen your dog.

Dog theft is a nightmare that’s becoming more and more common because it’s so easy to do. It’s especially common with smaller breeds of dogs, purebred dogs and with dogs that are friendly. Usually one or two people approach the dog in a friendly manner and check to see if the dog is also friendly. If the dog is friendly they may pet the dog, give the dog a treat, untie the dog and walk away with it. If the dog is friendly it may well leave with the thieves without so much as a peep.

In such a case, the very first thing you need to do is call the police as this is obviously a crime. If the store has video surveillance you may well see the thieves on tape or see exactly what happened. Once a police report has been made you also should go to your local humane society SPCA/ASPCA or place where they collect missing animals in your municipality. If there was no surveillance tape then there is a chance that the dog wasn’t stolen. Perhaps mischevious kids tried to play with the dog and then it escaped. Either way, you want to bring a recent colour picture there. You’ll also want to go there frequently to make sure your dog isn’t there. You want to post your missing animal on local pet websites and on larger pet websites. You also want to check local websites that sell dogs just in case your dog is listed there.

Why do people steal dogs in the first place? Domestic trouble is one common reason. In this case both people want the dog enough for one of the parties to steal the dog. Straight theft is also another common reason. Dogs are expensive and stealing a dog is cheaper than buying it. Far more heinous, is stealing a dog and then selling it to a puppy mill for breeding purposes or to a research lab for experimental purposes. Dogs may also be stolen to fight in dog-fighting rings.

In order to prevent this from happening, you want to do the following;

  • Never leave your dog unattended while you do errands.
  • Have your dog spayed or neutered as puppy mills won’t find these dogs useful.
  • Have ID on your dog at all times (even in the house) so that you can be contacted when the dog is found. If the ID tag says spayed/neutered, this may also dissuade some thieves.
  • Microchipping and tattooing are fairly cheap methods of protecting your pet in additional ways. Scrupulous research labs won’t use these types of dogs.
  • Don’t leave your dog in your backyard unattended. Protect your backyard from thieves.

Almost everything that is in this article also applies to cats and tens of thousands of cats go missing each year for these same reasons. If your cat is an outdoor cat, then the risk increases exponentially. Keep in mind that there are plenty of twisted individuals out there that are superstitious and think that cats are evil. Do yourself a favour, protect your pet(s) from theft.

© 2010

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