Pet Theft often happens in broad daylight. It’s difficult for a passerby to determine that someone has taken a dog that belongs to someone else. If a dog seems reasonably well-behaved and is being treated properly, it’s unlikely that anyone will even take notice. But at PetHub it’s our mission to ensure every family's pets stay safe, happy and home for the rest of their lives. So it's of utmost importance that we share the top tips to prevent pet theft.
Dog theft can be perpetrated in a variety of ways. Those who are after dogs such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, typically in an attempt to teach the dogs to fight or serve as aggressive guard animals, will lure the animal out with steak or other goodies in the middle of the night. Those who can’t resist an adorable, friendly dog, chained up while the owner runs into Starbucks or to pick up the dry cleaning, may simply walk off with the dog.
It’s difficult to find young people who go missing and it’s even more difficult to track down a stolen dog. Pet thieves will typically remove signs of identification, including microchips and GPS collars, and replace them with others. The dog will be trained to respond to a new name, taken to a new veterinarian, and perhaps microchipped with brand-new information.
An estimated two million pets are abducted each year. While some thefts occur because the thief is seeking out a particular breed of animal without wanting to pay the hefty price tag that comes along with it, like stealing an expensive handbag or piece of jewelry, others occur for more malicious reasons. Some end up in laboratories, dog fighting rings, or puppy mills.
Never, ever leave your dog unattended. It may be tempting to take him for a walk, where you can leave him tied to a fire hydrant or chair in front of the store when you need to run errands, but it takes less than 45 seconds for your dog to become a victim of theft. It is also advisable, if your dog spends any time at all indoors, to have him sleep inside with the family.
If you have an “outside” dog, make sure the outside of your property is protected just as well as the inside, including fences, gates, and an alarm system. The point is not only that your furry friend can’t get out, but that nobody can lure him out or remove him by force.
Make sure your pet wears a collar, ID tags, and microchip at all times. Although a savvy dog snatcher will remove the evidence, it’s still important to. Many times, a pet thief may not be aware your dog is microchipped, and taking him to a veterinarian may show the crime for what it is, and reunite you with your missing furry friend.
Never give up hope and keep searching. Networks like those PetHub builds help to unite pet owners and lovers throughout the country, and putting up a pet profile that someone in a neighboring area sees may just be the tip that helps you locate your stolen pooch.