Dognapping On the Rise—Protect Your Pet

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 11:15am

Pet theft is on the rise. The American Kennel Club, which has been tracking pet thefts since 2007, reported a 32% increase in dog thefts last year.

While some animals are snatched from their yards or during home invasions, opportunistic thieves most commonly steal dogs left in cars or tied up outside stores. In the ASPCA’s hometown of New York City, dognappings skyrocket every summer as pet parents take advantage of nice weather to combine dog-walking with errand-running.

Protect Your Pet
Avoid becoming a victim of this heartbreaking crime!

  • When running errands around town, visit pet-friendly establishments or please leave your dog at home.
  • Keep a close eye on your pet in designated off-leash areas, where he could become a target for criminals looking to make a quick buck. (Pet thieves often try to resell—or even hold for ransom—stolen dogs.)
  • Avoid leaving your pet unattended in the front yard, especially if your lawn is exposed or accessible.
  • The same rules apply for leaving your pet tied up outside a store. In addition to being vulnerable to theft and teasing, your dog might escape or get injured.
  • Microchip your pet! Microchipping can often mean the difference between temporary and permanent separation from your furry loved one.

For more important information about what to do if your pet is missing, please read our article on Finding a Lost Pet.

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Sharon Harris

yes, everyone should be careful about watching their pets. All three of mine are chipped now. But one day it was cool and as I was about to leave them in a locked car with the moon roof slightly open for airflow, when a lady walked over telling me to avoid leaving them in there at all, she had been told of someone, even in mall or store lots, breaking in by the roof to remove med to small dogs! I thanked her, took them home, and returned later. I was unaware these thieves were in our area, and am still thankful to her for taking the time to warn me of the possibility of losing our beloved pets.
Thanks for spreading great information.


I completely agree with you! I feel so sorry for the poor babies left in cars. Very selfish of owners. Just leave them home where they are cozy and comfortable! How would you like to be locked up and left in a car alone!

mary hager

Actually my dogs, German Shepherds, love to be in the car. When the weather is cool I often take them. It's another chance for them to get out, see people, drive around, get some fresh air. I don't leave them there more than a few minutes. However, believe me, I won't do that anymore!!


We are Pet Sitters in Oregon and we take our dog almost everywhere, wine touring etc. She loves the car and being with us. We would never leave her in the car if the weather was too hot, very rare in Eugene. All it takes is using some common sense. If you can't eat outside at a restaurant with your pet park where the car is visible. We have been taking her with us for 12 years and no problem. She would much rather be with us than at home, guarantee.

Elisabeth Dye

My dogs, all Labradors love to ride in the car. You just have to get the keys and they are there, sitting by the door, to go for a ride. I take them with me when it is cool /cold. In the sommer it gets way to hot in Texas.


What most people don't know is that it's against the law in most states. I've seen for myself animal care remove a pet, also I''ve seen dogs die from being left in a car. Leaving a window open does not cool off a car in the heat of the summer.Acar can reach over 110 degrees in minutes.

Dureen S

I agree with you. I am a huge advocate to help dogs or any animal that are left alone in a car. I have seen this happen 4 times this summer. I have called 911 to report this and I also leave a flyer on the windshield to try to educated people on the dangers of leaving their pet alone in a car. I did not realize that there are also major concerns about pets being stolen from cars, too. We sure do live in a crazy world where we can't trust anyone! How sad...
It's up to us to speak out and protect these innocent helpless animals. They can't speak so we have to be their voice.
Thank you to all of you wonderful people who look out for the precious animals.


so true i just found out how quick your car can heat up you had the best comment


I agree, I don't own a dog. But I always leave all four of my windows opened slightly to let the heat out. I can be in the store for five minutes get back into the vehicle and start to sweat instantly.


VERY WELL PUT! THANK YOU! People need to realize that what feels hot to them is 10X as hot to your pet, if not more! They cannot cool themselves the way we can and overheating happens in a matter of minutes... followed quickly by brain damage, like you said. It is simply not worth the risk for your own benefit. Your dogs may enjoy a ride but they do not know that being left in a car is hazardous to their health and saftey. All they know is they want to be with you. It's up to you to do what's best for them and not be selfish