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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R Rich

Please be very careful out there, dogs can be also taken to be used as bait for dog fighting, as well as sold to medical labs for research. Please protect your pets and please don't bring them out in this heat, they can die quickly if left in a car, they cannot protect themselves!


Sorry, but if I see someone has left their dog in a car that's been turned off and the windows aren't even cracked... That's a rescue from animal cruelty. Period.

However, stealing a dog from a car that is on and has the A/C going.... that's another matter entirely.


I have never and will never leave my dogs unattended in a car nor would I ever leave them tied out while going into a store.
I would never do that to my 2 legged children why would I do it to my 4 legged ones ..... to me it's a no brainer.
They are also supervised in the yard as well and not left alone for more than a few minutes.


My dog is too dear to me to leave him unattended. If someone stole him while I was inside a store, I would have to blame myself first. Those type of crimes, are crimes of opportunity. I will not give anyone an opportunity to rip me off.


I would never leave my dogs tied up outside a store or in my car. I left a shopping cart full of items one time all because I got kicked out for having my dog with me in her carrier. The manager said I could put her in my car and continue my shopping, I promptly left a full carriage in the middle of the aisle and walked out the store! Even if we had a yard, my dogs would not be left out in it without my being out there to supervise. They are too precious to me to have anything happen to them!


I'd also like to add that people should NEVER advertise dogs for free to a good home on Craig's List. Dog fighters troll sites like this looking for free dogs to use as bait. And you never know, the person could be well dressed and respectable looking and still be a dog fighter (take despicable Vick for example).

thomas christopher

i have had all 3 of my dogs microchipped and i never take them in the car without locking the doors. even with that the dogs can unlock the doors allowing someone to get them. my dogs are mixed breed but are unusual in looks and colors. i also never take them out without a leash and that prevents anyone from tsking them. please protect them like you would your children


I live in a VERY rural area, and neighbors of mine had their puppy taken by two little girls who "wanted to play with him". The owners turned their backs for a moment and the girls and the pup were gone -- turns out their mother used them to snatch dogs -- they'd walk away with the dog, meet her somewhere down the road where she waited with the car and take off. Fortunately, someone recognized the woman and the car and the police tracked her down and recovered the pu -- but she had a house FULL of other dogs that she was selling on eBay -- and no one knew who they belonged to. It just doesn't happen in cities.


I'm sure there are many reputable breeders out there with good intentions; however, there are 1000's of dogs (and cats) being killed every day due to overpopulation. If people really cared about this deadly situation, they would not continue to breed. There is a house not far from mine that ALWAYS has a sign that says "chihuahua puppies for sale." I can't even begin to imagine what might be going on in that house. Also, why would anyone pay $1,200 for a dog when you can rescue one??? If you want a specific breed, there are many rescue groups out there. Please, please...rethink your breeding and purchasing practices.

monka blanke

To take a dog from a car or if it is tied up, IS theft. I never leave my dog unattended, when I go shopping my dog stays at home, unless the place is dog friendly.