Pet Theft Awareness
Whether your dog/cat has left home or they have been stolen, losing a pet is heartbreaking. When they die it is sad and you grieve. However if they run away or are stolen you have no closure on what has happened to them. It is hard not knowing whether they are safe living with another family, or are they out on the streets hungry, lonely, cold or hot? They are part of your family. That is why July is designated National Lost Pet Prevention Month. Everyone who has a pet needs to be aware of pet theft and how to protect your pets, what to do to prevent pet theft, and what to do if your pet goes missing.
Did you know an estimated two million pets are abducted each year? It is difficult to find children when they go missing but it is even more difficult to track down a stolen dog. Some of these pets are stolen as you would expensive handbag or jewelry or others are for malicious reasons. Some of the pets end up in laboratories, puppy mills, or dog fighting rings.
Here are some tips on preventing pet theft:
- Pet theft happens in broad daylight!
- Never leave your pet unattended–don’t tie your dog outside of a restaurant, dry cleaners or coffee shops while you go inside, it takes less than 45 seconds for your dog to become a victim of theft.
- If you have a dog that spends a lot of time outside, make sure your fence is in good condition and there is a lock on the gate.
- Make sure your pet wears a collar with ID tags or they have a microchip.
“Pet Thieves” know their business. When after dogs such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers (use them to train to be aggressive guard dogs) thieves will lure them out with steak or other goodies in the middle of the night. It is best to keep them indoors at night. The sophisticated “pet thieves” will remove signs of identification and that includes microchips and GPS collars. The dog will be trained to respond to a new name, they will be taken to a new veterinarian and they can be micro-chipped with brand new information. You must act very quickly so they don’t have time to make these changes.
Call the police/animal control immediately if you suspect your dog has been stolen (give a thorough description). File a police report. Canvass the neighborhood talking to people in the immediate vicinity for possible sightings of the actual theft. Make fliers with a photo and post all around the neighborhood. Contact the media and see if you can get your dog’s picture on the news. Always have a picture of your dog on you.
According to the AKC, in 2011 the most stolen dog was the Yorkshire Terrier followed by Pomeranian, Maltese and Boston Terrier. Why? Because of their small size and the thieves can fetch over $1000 for a single dog. Labrador Retrievers and Pit Bull Terriers are top in the larger breeds.
What happens to stolen pets?
- Sale for $$$$$$$$$$$
- Sold to research laboratories
- Used in dog fighting or as bait
- Breeders for puppy mills
- Meat for exotic animals or human consumption
- For sale in pet stores
- Ritual sacrifice for satanic cults