Dog theft is on the rise.  It is an organized, multimillion dollar business that goes unnoticed for the most part.   Dogs are stolen for different reasons, some of them are to sell them to research labs or pet stores, to use in bait and for dog fighting rings, for breeders to use in puppy mills, as breeding partners for dogs,  for fur…believe it or not, and they are stolen by sadistic individuals.

There are steps you can take to keep your four legged friend from being a victim of dog theft.  The following are tips on how you can safeguard your pet.

Things You Can Do While You Are At Home:

  • Keep your dog on a leash so you can keep him close to you.  This will reduce the chance that he may wander off and be stolen.
  • Don’t leave your dog out in the yard by himself for long periods of time.  Your dog may become a target if he is left unattended in your yard.  Be especially careful if your fence is a fence where your yard is visible from the street.  These types of fences would be rod iron fences, chain link fences, etc.  If you must leave your dog outside, lock the fence with padlocks and/or chains.  Place them high so they are difficult to get to.
  • Equip the gates on your fence with an alarm/bell so you can hear visitors enter your property.
  • Lock the doggy door when you are not at home.  Take your dog out before you leave, bring him back in and lock the doggy door before you leave.  Locking the doggy door will also keep snakes, wasps, bees, thieves, and any other unwanted critters out of your house.
  • Spay or neuter your dog.  This will help to keep him from wandering off and will eliminate any resale value for breeding purposes.
  • Don’t give out information to your dog to just anyone.  If a stranger admires your dog, don’t answer questions about your dog such as your dog’s breed, how much you paid for your dog, or where you live.
  • Keep all of your ownership papers that prove you own your dog in one place.  These papers would include adoption papers, breeding contract and bill of sale.
  • Make sure your have made an emergency preparedness plan that includes your dog.  Don’t ever leave your dog behind when you evacuate.  Your dog could be stolen or could get lost.

Precautions You Can Take On The Road:

  • You should never leave your dog in an unattended car.  Locking the car doesn’t make it any safer for your dog.  Besides the chance of your dog being stolen, there are possible health risks for your dog when he is left in the car.  Leaving your dog in an unattended car, even for a minute, is an invitation for thieves.  Just don’t do it!
  • Chaining your dog up outside a store is a big NO NO!  If you need to go shopping leave your dog at home.  If leaving your dog at home isn’t an option, only shop at dog-friendly retailers!

If your dog does end up missing, there are things you can do to recover your dog.

  • Microchip your dog.  A microchip is a permanent ID that cannot be removed like collars and tags.  Keep contact information with your microchip recovery service provider.
  • Tattoo your dog with your social security number, drivers license number with your state included, or your purebred pet’s registration number with the registry initials: AKC, UKC, CFA, etc. inside the thigh or on the belly.  Make sure you register your dog’s tattoo.
  • Immediately call the police and file a police report if you suspect your dog has been stolen.  Call the animal control officer in the area where your dog was last seen.  Have the unique serial number of your dog’s microchip and a description of your dog posted in the “stolen article” category on the National Crime Information Center.
  • Talk to people in the area where your dog went missing.  Try to find out if anybody saw your dog being stolen.
  • Put out fliers with a current photo of your dog on it.  You should have a current profile picture and a current headshot of your dog so you can distribute it immediately if your dog goes missing.
  • Get information out about your dog by asking local TV stations, radio stations and newspapers to put out a web post about your missing dog.
  • Post information about your missing dog on social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist.  You should also post information on www.petfinder.com, www.missingpet.net and www.Findofido.com.  The more information you get out about your dog the better!

Filed under: All About Dogs

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